Joel Kinnaman: RoboCop remake shouldn’t have even been called RoboCop

RoboCop remake star Joel Kinnaman acknowledges the disconnect the 2014 movie had with fans of the 1987 original.

RoboCop remake

Serve the public trust, protect the innocent, uphold the law, produce a crappy remake. When José Padilha’s RoboCop remake hit theaters in 2014, it was…something else all right. A PG-13 take on a movie that satirizes the Reagan administration and blasts corporate greed to smithereens – oh, and also features the hero shooting a guy in the dick – the RoboCop remake was about as lousy as you’d think, at least compared to Paul Verhoeven’s 1987 action classic. And that’s about where its star, Joel Kinnaman, stands on the matter, saying the RoboCop remake lost touch with what people loved about the original.

Speaking with, Joel Kinnaman said that while he liked the experience of working on the RoboCop remake and helping Padilha bring his vision to the big screen, there was a serious disconnect between what they were doing and what fans of Verhoeven’s film wanted. “The one thing, I think, was lacking in that film – I like to be self-critical – I think that it was one of those films where I think, we who made it didn’t fully take into account what RoboCop was for the fans. Tonally, that sort of [Paul] Verhoeven satire, because it’s so ingrained in the RoboCop franchise and its being. It’s different when a new filmmaker comes in and puts his voice on it, and José had a very clear image of what he wanted to do, it was an anti-Empirialistic take, and I think that movie would have done better if we had listened more to the fans beforehand. But I think it stands alone.” He concluded, “I almost think the RoboCop film we did would have been a better movie if it wouldn’t have been named RoboCop.” Perhaps Robert Cop might have been more fitting?

Kinnaman and a wealth of fans may have been disappointed in the RoboCop remake, but there is still a minor legion of those that dug it – at least those who can look past that it wasn’t the original. It is a bit unfair to compare a remake to the original when it comes down to it, but it’s also unavoidable. Of course we’ll want to see an updated version of something we loved growing up, but if you drop the ball – like, say, giving this sort of movie a PG-13 rating (something Kinnaman actually inadvertently goofed on in interviews) – then the Auto 9s come out.

What did you think of the RoboCop remake? Do you share Kinnaman’s sentiments? Let us know below!


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Mathew is an East Coast-based writer and film aficionado who has been working with periodically since 2006. When he’s not writing, you can find him on Letterboxd or at a local brewery. If he had the time, he would host the most exhaustive The Wonder Years rewatch podcast in the universe.