It is the year 2028, when the city of Detroit is being patrolled by the most unique and relentless crime fighter in the world: the half man/half robot Alex Murphy, also known as RoboCop. Condemned to a certain death after being the victim of a terrible explosion, our hero was given a second chance by the powerful corporation OmniCorp, specialized in designing and constructing robots, that offers him the possibility to inhabit a new and powerful mechanical body that enables him, not only to continue living, but to be stronger and faster than he ever could have imagined.
When Murphy’s wife Clara reluctantly signs off under strenuous pressure the authorization for her fading husband to be a part of the newly devised RoboCop program, as what is explained to her as the only way of keeping him alive, little does she know that they are puppets in the middle of a gigantic political and corporate battle.
That is the story of Columbia Pictures' “RoboCop,” based on the classic cult movie directed by Paul Verhoeven in 1987, which will hit theatres all over the world as an action-packed adventure constructed around themes that seem more relevant today than ever before.
Being a physicist before getting involved in filmmaking, the Brazilian director Jose Padilha was fascinated by the themes of the story: “Humanity has evolved a lot, which we can see through the increase of our average life-span. There is undeniable progress. I love science because it has changed things mostly in a very positive way; but, as a famous physicist once said, ‘Science is a key that can open two doors: the door to heaven and the door to hell.’ So, you should be weary of what you do with it and keep your eyes open. And the reason to make a movie like RoboCop is precisely to discuss things like what does it entail to have robots pulling triggers. Because if they kill a kid by mistake, who is to blame? Once you get autonomous machines making life and death decisions accountability becomes fuzzy, and that is something we need to discuss because it is an area where science can go astray.”
The first step was to construct an exciting script around that concept and find the right actor to play Alex Murphy/RoboCop, a role that would end up in the hands of Joel Kinnaman. “There is a big difference between the vision of a robot in 1987 to our future vision of a robot now, because today we already have robots and people with bionic hands and legs that work perfectly well,” explains the Swedish born actor. “So, our vision of a robot in 15 years is going to be something that is pretty advanced!”
“I am pretty sure we will have international debates in the UN trying to decide what is correct or incorrect about the use of autonomous robots in war,” foresees Padilha, “and the same thing will be discussed in every country in regards to their law enforcement laws and the constraints and of what robots can or cannot do. It’s going to happen! And our movie is grounded this way, as its premise is that you cannot use robots for law enforcement in America. Only a conscious human being can be allowed to pull the trigger, because only a human being understands what it is to be human and the true value of human life. So, contrary to the original movie, my RoboCop doesn’t die and become a soulless robot. His brain is intact! This way the emotions and cognitive capacity of Alex Murphy are in there the day he wakes up and finds out he is a robot.”
Opening across the Philippines in Feb. 05, 2014, “RoboCop” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.