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Down by Law

Neill Blomkamps..... ROBOCOP!

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I've not seen Blomkamps' recent shorts to know if any have a similarity with the dystopian Detroit of Robocop, and given his three films are set in Johannesburg I'm guessing no? That's my only hope; that visually he retains his instincts but moves away from South Africa. Which..maybe everyone expects him to. I want 70% of it to be shot at night, on film, dryly, steadily. I want 80s looking punks, alleyways littered with rubbish, everything to have a lived-in grit and griminess to it. 

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13 minutes ago, Loik V credern said:

I've not seen Blomkamps' recent shorts to know if any have a similarity with the dystopian Detroit of Robocop, and given his three films are set in Johannesburg I'm guessing no? That's my only hope; that visually he retains his instincts but moves away from South Africa. Which..maybe everyone expects him to. I want 70% of it to be shot at night, on film, dryly, steadily. I want 80s looking punks, alleyways littered with rubbish, everything to have a lived-in grit and griminess to it. 

 

Check them out here:

 

 

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None of his Oats Studios stuff would give you any clue about how a RoboCop film would look in his hands, one is set in some variant of the Middle East/generic hellscape and the other two are set in some industrial complex and some stand-in for 70s Vietnam. As Verhoeven mentioned, 80s Dallas was the location chosen to realise the vision at that time, so the question should be what place now bears any similarity to how 80s Dallas looked as that has probably changed a whole lot since then.

 

Given the storyline from the original, and this supposedly being a direct sequel, would Detroit even be in as bad a state anyway? The plot was partly about corruption and the planned building of Delta City which would have gotten rid of most of the crap parts of Detroit anyway, sounds more like something out of Cyberpunk 2020 :D

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3 hours ago, ucci said:

The story that the film maker Jose Padilha tells about making the film made him sound like a puppet artist, Elite de Tropa were classic action films and Im not sure he was able to take the film where he wanted. 

 

 

Correct, he hated the production .

 

Quote

 

With Hugh Laurie dropping out of the villain role in the “RoboCop” remake last week, was it actually a sign of a troubled production? Because according to director Jose Padilha‘s pal Fernando Meirelles, working on the flim is “hell.”

Even though cameras haven’t started rolling on the movie, with lensing to begin in September, Padilha has already expressed some grave concerns about his first Hollywood experience, which unfortunately, sounds like a very familiar story. “I talked to José Padilha for a week by phone. He will begin filming ‘Robocop.’ He is saying that it is the worst experience. For every 10 ideas he has, 9 are cut. Whatever he wants, he has to fight,” Meirelles told South American web site Cinemacom Rapadura (via ScreenCrush).

 

 

he's not worked in Hollywood since.

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On 17/07/2018 at 16:51, Down by Law said:

 

Correct, he hated the production .

 

 

he's not worked in Hollywood since.

 

Padilha mentioned he was offered plenty of Hollywood work after this came out, comic book and other populist fare but he turned them all down due to his experience working on RoboCop and how stymied you are working for the man.

 

Quote

 

Padilha is still coming to terms with the “stressful experience” of directing RoboCop (2014), his updated version of the hit cyborg crimefighter film originally directed by Paul Verhoeven in 1987.

 

“I didn’t have the creative freedom I needed. I spent 90% of the time fighting,” he says, adding that he turned down several offers of action and superhero films after his Hollywood directorial debut.

 

It made me realise that making a studio movie is not the same as making a film. I will think a million times before getting involved in another production of that size again.”

 

However, the genearlly savvy Padilha admits that perhaps he should have known better.

 

“I got into this Hollywood business thinking that I could make the film I wanted, with my cinema criteria. My mistake.’’

 

 

https://www.screendaily.com/news/production/jos-padilha-talks-netflix-series-entebbe-and-hollywood/5106871.article#.V49U3P-0i2g.twitter

 

 

Maybe the original film was basically a fluke as it had a low budget so Paul Verhoeven got to make the film he wanted to make with minimal studio interference, that's certainly what Alex Garland has said on the subject. If you want to have creative freedom, make a film for fuckall money and they'll leave you alone to get on with it.

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On 17/07/2018 at 14:30, Loik V credern said:

his three films are set in Johannesburg

 

Elysium isn't, it's set in LA, filmed in Mexico City. And space, filmed in Vancouver, because Blomkamp knows we live in a green and pleasant universe from his time on SG-1.

 

Same sun-drenched feel though. I'd like to see him take on the cold dirtiness of Detroit.

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For a series of films famously set in a city with global recognition, to the extent even fans clamour for this new one to go back in time to recreate the setting of the original film, it's interesting to note that it's all essentially based on lies ;)

 

What people really want is some fictionalised version of what they think Detroit is, rather than what it is or was in reality. Some broken decayed cityscape ripe for a superhuman policeman to clean up.

 

These are the places where the films were actually set:

 

 

Dallas and Pittsburgh

 

Houston

 

Atlanta

 

Toronto and Vancouver and actual Detroit finally! (even if it mainly ended up being filler material to give the illusion this set of films is actually set in Detroit for real ;))

 

 

https://torontoist.com/2014/06/reel-toronto-robocop/


 

 

 

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I get the practical reasons why they might not choose to do that, but it was more a question of why they've never really filmed in Detroit itself to the extent that fans think it needs to be set in Detroit, when the name is really just a convenient shorthand for a depiction of a decaying, formerly prosperous urban centre, the perfect setting for why you need to invent some fancy policeman to solve the crime problem.

 

Dallas was chosen for the first film because it looked futuristic and modern, not because it looked anything like Detroit. Most cities in the world these days are so fucking generic, it's no wonder you can swap them out and nobody but a local can tell the difference.

 

Mexico needs to do a version of this, now that would be a noticeably different film and perfectly believable in terms of corruption and criminality :D

 

Quote

 

The building of the costume of RoboCop was expensive, of course. It had to be invented, and it had to be sculpted. A lot of the money of the movie went into getting the RoboCop suit right, and that took time and of course with such a low budget, there was not a possibility to do science-fiction in the Blade Runner way, so we didn’t do that. Then, of course, based on that possibility to do anything about the background, then we were looking for a town that had at least a modernistic outlook and ultimately, we ended up with two towns.

 

We went to Detroit and that didn't look like anything really. We went to Chicago and we didn’t find it there. Ultimately, we reduced our search to Houston and Dallas, and ultimately after discussing and going to both towns and returning, we felt that Dallas would give us more possibilities also to do, let’s say, streets that weren’t modernistic but that we could blow up [laughs] and we decided to do it in Dallas. The whole movie is shot in Dallas with the exception of the ending, the steel factory that was shot in Pittsburgh.

 

Ultimately, we felt that Dallas would give us that, let’s say, that Old Detroit that’s mentioned in the movie. We felt that Dallas would give us the possibility to show streets that were in disarray and also falling apart or whatever, and there were enough skyscrapers to give us a modernistic look. That was the reason to go to Dallas, which was perfect. We had a great time there. Everything went very smoothly. There was a lot of cooperation. We never got in any problems. Everything we wanted to do was possible and we found all the locations there.

 

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On 17/07/2018 at 14:44, mushashi said:

None of his Oats Studios stuff would give you any clue about how a RoboCop film would look in his hands, one is set in some variant of the Middle East/generic hellscape and the other two are set in some industrial complex and some stand-in for 70s Vietnam

 

As far as overarching themes go, I agree. However in terms of vfx and practical prop design, pretty much every single thing I can think of that he's been involved in favours a heavy industrial, sometimes even clunky, aesthetic. So I'd be very interested to see what his iteration of robocop would look like, certainly as compared to 2014s slick Apple version.

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Yeah, I'm sure Blomkamp will nail the visual style, I don't think anybody has questioned his abilities on that front in this thread. Paul Verhoeven had never done a Sci-Fi film before making the original RoboCop, didn't stop that having distinctive and iconic imagery so you don't need to have that talent personally as a director, same for Ridley Scott. The question has always been (to my mind), can any new attempt at the idea come close to being able to deliver the complete package that was the original film? Visuals are only one part of that and so far we've had 3 failed attempts at recapturing what made the original a classic, which probably puts it about equal with that other 80s classic, Predator for poor sequels/reboots/remakes. At least Die Hard, Alien, Blade Runner and The Terminator all had a least one good follow-up.

 

 

They might even choose to shoot it in Dallas again, some of the locations are rundown enough now not to need much set dressing :P

I found these videos by some Dallas locals showing some of the real-life locations:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is also this Q&A that was shot back in 2013 with most of the major players from the original film, Edward Neumeier's answer about the downsides of being associated with the film is rather prophetic in hindsight :P Let's hope him and Michael Miner don't let themselves down with this new attempt.

 

 

 

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