It seems while everyone else was watching the NBC’s butchered rebroadcast of the London Olympics Closing Ceremony, HitFix’s Drew McWeeny was reading the latest draft of MGM’s planned remake of Robocop. And the experience was so bad that he took twitter to share his thoughts.
If you’re not familiar with McWeeny’s work, it was his championing of Will Farrell’s script for Anchorman back when he was writing for Aint It Cool News under the name of Moriarty that got the script into production. He was also the one who “outed’ the J J Abrams Superman reboot screenplay that recast Lex Luthor as a Kryptonian. The fan outrage from that review was what got Warner Brothers to head back to the drawing board and pick a new writer. For these two reasons alone, and not even factoring in the countless other script reviews he ran in his time at AICN, that I tend to give credence to his opinions on screenwriting.
I tried to read the “Robocop” remake, but 20 pages in my nose started bleeding and I forgot my name. #nobueno #reallynobueno
Joshua Zetumer with revisions by Nick Schenk. It’s just a complete rebuilding of it, and I hate pretty much every choice.
I will try this again once my blood pressure’s gone down. But, seriously, folks, “Robocop” was already perfect.
I’ll share this one detail. In the film, when Murphy is turned into Robocop 1.0, it’s described “a high-tech version of the ’80s suit.”
Then they show a focus group scene where criminals laugh at the design. “He looks like a toy from the ’80s!”
So they redesign him to look “meaner” as Robocop 2.0, who passes focus group approval.
So they not only make sure to include the original design, they also point out it’s dated and stupid. *facepalm*
Unfortunately, they’re full speed ahead right now. With this script.
Hold onto your sides for more hilarious “Robocop” details. They outsource his construction to China. #seriously
And we meet the ED-209s in the field in Iran, where they’re used to subdue suicide bombers. #ineedallthedrinksnow
Short version: this script makes my stomach hurt very, very badly.
Ahhh… now they just dropped Robocop 3.0 onto an Al Queda training camp to see what he does.
“He should be programmed to incapacitate in all scenarios.” “Agreed. Let’s keep him PG-13, Dr. Norton.” No. No. No. No.
By page 54, they are already onto Robocop 4.0, who looks like a “cop on steroids painted metallic blue.”
Oh, god… oh dear god… Robocop is a Transformer. He goes from “social mode” to “combat mode” and back. Full transformation.
I’m going to go stand in my backyard and scream at the moon for a while. My brain needs a shower.
Write it down. Page 55, the “Robocop” remake beat me. I’m done. I can’t hurt more than this.
It’s tough to determine tone on the page, but “satire” seems low on their list of priorities.
Okay… the two “best” lines in the script. First up is at the unveiling ceremony for Robocop in Detroit, from a TV reporter covering it.
“I think it’s safe to say that Alex Murphy is now part man, part machine, ALL COP!” Yes, I too remember the original poster, asshat.
Second, after the traumatic first meeting with his father, Alex’s son retreats to the apartment of Lewis, Murphy’s male partner.
The scene ends with the action line “David sits, catatonic, looks at the TV — MGM REMAKE TBD.”
It means “to be determined.” They haven’t decided which of their other movies to plug with that clip. Yet.
Awesome. “Since we’ve got them in the theater, let’s make sure we plug another horrible remake of ours.”
I feel like one of those little potato people staring directly into The Dark Crystal. And, yet, pages keep turning…
Good god… it just keeps topping itself. It’s like someone wrote a script scientifically fine-tuned to destroy me.
Someone shows Pope, head of the OCP project, some mock-ups for Robocop action figures. “Are you kidding? I wouldn’t buy that for a dollar!”
Yeah, that just happened. NOT SO FUNNY NOW, IS IT?!
When this thing hits theaters, people are going to call up Len Wiseman’s “Total Recall” on the phone and apologize for being so mean.
“I’m sorry, ‘Total Recall.’ I had no idea how bad things could get. You’re starting to look like a masterpiece right about now.”
Oh, much worse, yes. The Abrams Superman had amazing action sequences in it, and JP4 is batshit crazy but I’d watch it.
I’ll say this: once the script stops all the winky-winky crap and just starts telling a story, it’s not terrible. But it’s way too late.
If you can get past Robocop The Transformer, there are some interesting action beats. And I’m sure Padilla will direct the hell out of it.
But overall? Ouch. Ouch. Ohpleasedon’t. Ouch. And a big side order of ouch.