Sony Pictures gave fans at today’s San Diego Comic-Con their first look at their upcoming RoboCop reboot. Stars Joel Kinnaman, Abbie Cornish, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Keaton and director Jose Padilha were all on hand to screen some footage from the 2014 release.
The first sequence shown was a TV news set-piece following OmniCorp’s deployment of battle droids and ED-209s during the American occupation of Iran during “Operation Freedom.” The TV reporter embedded with the robot military unit is touting their success at keeping the peace — which we see is the pure intimidation of unarmed citizens — when an explosion rocks the street and the OmniCorp droids turn lethal. This entire TV news segment is hosted by Pat Novak, a firebrand pundit on a Fox News-style network. (Jackson described his character as “Rush Sharpton” in a nod to the outspoken duo of Rush Limbaugh and Al Sharpton.)
In this RoboCop, police officer Alex Murphy (Kinnaman) isn’t killed by a ruthless outlaw and his henchmen, In fact, he’s not killed at all. He’s gravely injured by a car bomb that leaves him massively burned all over his body. In order to “save ” him — and give OmniCorp their cyborg lawman they’ve been desiring — Omni scientist Dr. Norton (Gary Oldman) essentially amputates Alex’s body from the neck down and rebuilds him as, yes, RoboCop. (They keep Alex’s right hand as a humanizing element for when RoboCop shakes hands with people.)
There were several scenes with OmniCorp CEO Raymond Sellars (Keaton), a believer in his products and what they can do for the world who makes his decisions not so much out of being a villain as because he’s decided it’s simply the best option available for his business and what he thinks it can provide. Keaton described Sellars as an antagonist rather than as a villain.
There was no equivalent to a purely evil Clarence Boddicker villain in the footage we saw, but we did see plenty of video game-esque first person shooter night vision shots from the POV of different gunmen dumb enough to take on RoboCop.
Another alteration from the original film is that this time Murphy’s wife Clara is still with him since he’s not dead. Her struggle to somehow recognize something human in what Alex has become — and his own inevitable quest to do the same — is what seems to drive the plot more than some big villains’ plot.
Overall, RoboCop looked decent. Frankly, the footage wasn’t enough to dismiss all concerns one may have about the project. It could either end up being a surprise gem like Dredd 3D or a stale but not infuriating retread like Total Recall. We shall see, but if the purpose of bring this new RoboCop to Comic-Con was to show fans how it’s different from the original movie and how its new take on the property might work then it achieved that. (Oh, and the new suit looks pretty sweet in motion so stop fretting about those set photos you saw.)
– source: ign.com