Aug 8, 2012

OCP Better Watch Out! Omar's Comin' to Old Detroit

The impending Robocop remake is trying REALLY hard to impress me, to the point that I think it's no longer fair for me to simply dismiss the project out of hand.  Yes, director Jose Padilha is somewhat of an unproven commodity and the casting of star Joel Kinnaman, best known for playing the squirrelly detective Holder on AMC's now-cancelled The Killing, seems bordering on tone-deaf.

And yet, in terms of the supporting cast, Sony has been stacking the deck with incredible talent.  We've already seen Gary Oldman, Samuel L. Jackson, Hugh Laurie, Jackie Earle Haley, Jay Baruchel and Abbie Cornish come on board, most in roles that are largely non-specfic.  While Cornish will be taking on the (possibly expanded) role of Alex Murphy's wife, there's been no indication which, if any, of these guys might be filling the shoes of Kurtwood Smith's Clarence Boddicker or Ronny Cox's deliciously evil Dick Jones.

And now they've added the incredible Michael K. Williams (Omar of The Wire fame) as Murphy/Robocop's partner, the character previously known as Anne Lewis and played by Nancy Allen.  The gender change doesn't really do anything for me either way on paper; it's not like Murphy and Lewis had some sort of great love affair that we're going to miss out on.  There was idle flirting at best.  I do think it'll be a bit odd to see Williams playing the other side of the law, though I'm overjoyed to see him get some serious time on the big screen.*

I'm still highly skeptical of this whole endeavor, as I'm not entirely convinced we really NEED to go back to the well on this one.  While the sequels were largely forgettable, Verhoeven's 1987 original is a near perfect movie whose ultra-violent social satire is just as relevant today as 25 years ago.  (They're all currently streaming on Netflix if you're in need of a refresher.)  It's also quotable as hell, which is never a bad thing.  At this point, the best I can do is reserve judgement until we start to see some actual footage.

*Sidenote: Williams has a blink-and-you'll-miss-him appearance in Marvel's The Incredible Hulk, when the big green guy "breaks Harlem."  He has no lines, he simply stands on the sidewalk and silently watches Hulk fuck shit up.

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