There’s a lot of chatter today regarding some comments director Jose Padilha supposedly made about MGM’s remake of Robocop. Comments (via Screen Crush) that would indicate the film is in some trouble. The only problem is that they’re completely out of context.
Padilha reportedly confided in fellow filmmaker Fernando Meirelles (City Of God) and Meirelles turned around and spoke with South American web site Cinemacom Rapadura. He said, “I talked to José Padilha for a week by phone. He will begin filming Robocop. He is saying that it is the worst experience. For every 10 ideas he has, 9 are cut. Whatever he wants, he has to fight. “This is hell here,” he told me. “The film will be good, but I never suffered so much and do not want to do it again.” He is bitter, but it’s a fighter.”
It’s worth mentioning that this quote had to be translated from Portugese into English (something Screen Crush acknowledges). It’s also not from Padilha himself so I think it’s a bit premature for everyone – lots of sites have picked this up and reported it with varying degrees of armchair doomsday rhetoric – to be ringing the death knell here. No one knows what the tone of this conversation was. I have no vested interest in this either way. I’m not even particularly convinced that a remake of RoboCop is a good idea at all. I just don’t think that this kind of interview means anything one way or the other. Also – of course it’s stressful! This is a big budget studio remake, they’re not known as beacons of light for the creative process. Head inside for more…
To clarify one more thing, that same report (and every other website that picked it up) mentions a “scathing review” of Josh Zetumer’s script. It’s true that Drew McWeeny (a writer I like) took to Twitter to voice his intense displeasure with the draft. But it’s not exactly the review that brought Hollywood to its knees. I’ve also heard from other sources that the script is “good” (not great). So take from that what you will.
Is RoboCop in trouble? I have no idea. Neither does anyone else I’ve read online today. I think it’s strange that this kind of chatter is going this far this early. In the meantime, I’m wondering if Meirelles think’s he’s done his buddy any favors by giving out that info.
The film is set to start shooting in Toronto next month. Maybe we’ll know more then. Sony is distributing and has set an August 9, 2013 domestic release date.