Honestly, between the twerking controversy and the “Fifty Shades of Grey” casting uproar, sometimes it’s a wonder anyone wants to do anything anymore, lest they incur the scornful wrath of the collective consciousness of the Internet.
That intersection between man and machine is explicitly explored in the first trailer from the upcoming remake of “Robocop.” Starring Joel Kinnaman in the role played by Peter Weller in the 1987 original, the new film puts a drone-era twist on the original’s story of a wounded man encased in a robotic outfit in hopes of becoming the ultimate tool of law enforcement.
Directed by Brazilian-born filmmaker José Padilha, the film’s impressive cast also includes Samuel L. Jackson, Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Abbie Cornish, Jay Baruchel, Jackie Earle Haley, Jennifer Ehle and Michael K. Williams.
In an interview with the L.A. Times’ Hero Complex, Padilha spoke to the political undercurrents that percolate in both the original and his film.
“The thing that distinguishes ‘RoboCop’ from most superhero movies is if you look at a movie like ‘Spider-Man’ or ‘Iron Man,’ every kid wants to be Spider-Man or aspires to be Iron Man.... RoboCop, he cannot touch his wife and his son, he cannot relate to humans in the way he related before he became RoboCop, so there’s no aspiration to be RoboCop.
“This is not what the original movie was about. It wasn’t a movie sold or designed based on that. It was designed based on a character that has more like a Frankensteinian characteristic. You don’t want to be Frankenstein. You don’t want to be RoboCop. But RoboCop embodies a philosophical idea and a political idea. It talks about fascism.”
Looks exciting, especially with such small touches as the RoboCop suit now rendered in black rather than the iconic metallic silver of the original.
The general response via Twitter seemed dubious. The tech and entertainment website i09 said the trailer “made us feel a lot of things. Some excitement, but mostly dread.”
We’ll all find out when the film is released Feb. 7, 2014.
For sake of comparison, here’s the trailer to the original:
Follow Mark Olsen on Twitter: @IndieFocus