Speaking of yesterday’s discussion of Cybermen and The Borg, another well known borg sci-fi character was the subject of a New York Times article this week: RoboCop is being resurrected for the big screen this year, one of several remakes of 1980s properties, such as 21 Jump Street and Dirty Dancing, coming soon to a theater near you.
Unfortunately there is not much information yet released, especially no photos yet of the police uniform for the 2013 RoboCop production. Peter Weller, who we learned this year will be featured in the next Star Trek movie, originally dawned the steel armor of the downed cop who, like the Bionic Man, was rebuilt to fight the forces of evil in the U.S. The original costume is instantly recognizable, but early word from production is that we will see a very different police armor uniform for the new RoboCop.
Although it is not quite as cool as the original RoboCop, I am a fan of the Iowa State Patrol uniform worn by the officer hunting down a young James T. Kirk in the future Riverside, Iowa in Star Trek 2009:
I’m still not sure if that was a good protective outfit for a human cop, or whether that android face mask reflects an actual android, or this was meant to be a cyborg creation. Either way, it’s a pretty good outfit.
Years ago Academy Award winners Sylvester Stallone and Sandra Bullock showed us the prim and proper cops of the future city of San Angeles, where we learned “In the future, all restaurants are Taco Bell.”
My fellow Trekkies will recognize those belts being re-used in the Mirror Universe of the Enterprise TV series by evil Captain Archer & Co. These guys looked believable. But no armor!
And this year’s coming remake of Total Recall features another slick looking future cop:
Note that the new Total Recall takes no obvious design queues from Paul Verhoeven’s original Total Recall. So it should be no surprise if the new RoboCop takes no design queues from Verhoeven’s RoboCop. Verhoeven’s RoboCop was inspired by the future cop from the comic book 2000 A.D., Judge Dredd, and Verhoeven’s RoboCop has been interpreted as a retelling of sorts of the original Judge Dredd story because of several common themes, and, of course, the mask. Although the Sylvester Stallone future cop in Judge Dredd didn’t adhere totally to the original story, he did have a mask, but his uniform was a bit strange:
Future cops are definitely “in” these days. Karl Urban (Bones in Star Trek 2009, Eomer in Lord of the Rings, Xena, Bourne Supremacy, Chronicles of Riddick) will be starring in a new version of Judge Dredd, that Urban says comes more from the course material, titled Dredd and expected to be released in September 2012.
Far less interesting are the precrime future cop uniforms from Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report, based on Philip K. Dick’s short story of the same name:
For the new RoboCop, José Padilha is slated to direct a screenplay by Nick Schenk and Joshua Zetumer. Thirty-three year old actor Joel Kinnaman has been tapped for the lead role as Murphy/RoboCop. Of the creative trio, Schenk is the best known for his sceenplay for Clint Eastwood’s (awesome) film, Gran Torino. Kinnaman had a small role in last year’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and as Stephen Holder in the TV series, The Killing.
Here is the the marketing blurb for the new film: “In a crime-ridden city, a terminally wounded cop returns to the force as a powerful cyborg with submerged memories haunting him.”
Padilha and Kinnaman have disclosed thus far that the new RoboCop will be a very different film than the original, with a costume where you can see the RoboCop’s eyes, and they’d said that the focus of the new story will be the period from Murphy getting shot to becoming RoboCop, as opposed to an action film where RoboCop serves as a futuristic officer. So this seems a bit like the path of Martin Caidin’s original Bionic Man story as told in his novel Cyborg.
My favorite scene, and the one I hope they do include in some way, is the scene where the non-cyborg RoboCop before Weller’s is revealed to be flawed and destroys one of the executives in the board room at the big reveal.
The current release date is scheduled for August 9, 2013.