One of the few good reasons for remaking is not, as some idiot studio exec with a business degree may try and tell you, to cash in on the name recognition of an existing popular film. The correct reason would be to further explore an idea or theme that for some reason the original left underdeveloped.
Jose Padilha seems to know this. He’s the director that MGM brought on board their planned RoboCop remake after Darren Aronofsky left the project. And he recently spoke with Dutch film site Film1 and stated that he was looking to highlight certain things that director Paul Verhoeven did not dwell on so much in the original film.
I love the sharpness and political tone of RoboCop , and I think that such a film is now urgently needed. But I will not repeat what Verhoeven has done so clearly and strongly. Instead I try to make a film that will address topics that Verhoeven untreated. If you are a man changes into a robot, how do you do that? What is the difference between humans and robots developed? What is free will? What does it mean to lose your free will? Those are the issues that I think.
If you’re familiar with Verhoeven’s original, which starred Peter Weller as a cop who is turned into a cyborg following nearly being killed in the line of duty, you’ll know that some of that is lightly touched upon although the director glosses over that in favor of the broad political and social satire and moments of dark comedy. There is certainly plenty of room for Padilha to go in the direction he is interested in going without having to worry about aping what Verhoeven has already done. Besides, I think that the original RoboCop succeed as it had the exact right tone at the exact right time and to try and replicate that would be a fool’s errand.