New Delhi: Brazilian director Jose Padilha is making his Hollywood debut with 'RoboCop', a remake of the 1987 film of the same name, and says his approach to the sci-fi film is similar to the happenings in the world today.
A re-telling of the Paul Verhoeven-directed 1987 movie, the film is about a Detroit police officer who is transformed into a sentient law enforcement machine.
"I think that the issues our movie talks about - the robots, the use of drones, our law enforcement all of these are real issues and very close to reality today. And they are going to become more and more real; so I actually think this
movie was about reality and not fiction. It is a very grounded sci-fi movie," Padilha told PTI in an email interview.
The original 'RoboCop' film was hailed as groundbreaking upon its release. It starred Peter Weller as Alex Murphy, a cop slain by drug dealers who is reborn inside the suit of a cyborg and begins to rid the city's streets of crime.
When asked if he was apprehensive about remaking a hit, the 46-year-old director-producer said, "Actually it wasn't scary at all re-creating 'RoboCop'; infact I would say it was a great thing. It would be challenging recreating a bad movie that had bad ideas in it, but 'RoboCop' is a pretty amazing movie with some great ideas. So it was a blast."
The new 'RoboCop' film stars Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman Michael Keaton, Samuel L Jackson and will arrive in theatres this Valentines Day.
The remake was first announced in 2005, but it was halted one year later. Darren Aronofsky and David Self were first assigned to direct and write the film for a tentative 2010 release. Padilha was attached to project in 2011.
"I wasn't asked to direct 'RoboCop'. I went to a meeting at MGM three years ago. They mentioned several movies but those didn't really appeal to me, until I saw they had a poster of the original 'RoboCop' and asked them if they would
like to make the film with me. Two days later, I was offered the film. So, it was actually my suggestion," Padilha said.
Padilha says although Aronofsky had prepared one draft of the script, he chose not to use it as he had a different approach to the story.
"Darren Aronofsky developed 'RoboCop' before I stepped in. But I had a totally different take on it so I wanted to go back and develop it from scratch, right from the beginning and that is what happened. I spent one and half years developing the screenplay, and another year and a half shooting it."
Padilha made a name for himself with his 2002 documentary 'Bus 174', which chronicled a gruesome hijacking in Rio de Janeiro. His ultra-violent action movie 'Elite Squad', won the Golden Bear award at the 2008 Berlin Film Festival and its sequel is one of the highest-grossing Brazilian films in history.
The director did feel the difference between making films in his native Brazil and this big-budget Hollywood film and says he had to fight hard to assert control over the production.
"In a Brazilian movie like 'Bus 174' the freedom is massive and you have it from the beginning. In a studio movie you have to fight for it. What changes most is the fact that in a big film there is a lot of structure, and lots of people involved and it is a lot more complex while the schedules are longer than I have done before. So, as a director those things did change my approach," he said.
Padilha says making 'RoboCop' was a great learning experience for him as it taught him the various nitty-gritties of working in a big Hollywood film.
"This movie was really great and I have learnt how to make a movie inside a big structure something that I have never done before and you know you need a different set of skills. There is a lot of structure that Hollywood develops that help us work out in a good way and that was a great experience," he said.