Deadline is reporting that MGM is closing in on a director they like to make their ROBOCOP reboot. And surprisingly it's a name that I think most people won't recognize, unless they're from Brazil. Director Joe Padilha, who directed ELITE SQUAD and ELITE SQUAD 2, is the front runner for the job.
I haven't seen these two films, but I'll definitely have to track them down now. I'd read about ELITE SQUAD 2 (our buddy Rav reviewed it for Sundance this year) and how it blew everyone away at Sundance, and apparently it's made more money in Brazil than AVATAR. Both the ELITE SQUAD films are crime thrillers, so Padilha's pedigree for the project seems to be fitting. He's also directed a documentary called BUS 174, about a hostage situation that goes bad, and it sounds intense.
I love that MGM pulls a director out of the hat that we didn't expect. We all have our preconceived notions about what an Aronofsky ROBOCOP would look like, and now we'll need to adjust those notions. But if the ELITE SQUAD films and BUS 174 are any indication, Padilha may bring some serious grit and edge to a new ROBOCOP. I also love that South American filmmaking is getting some love with this pick; this definitely shows that MGM isn't going for cookie-cutter filmmaking with this one. Since Paul Verhoeven made the first ROBOCOP with his customary focus and wit, it's nice to see MGM going back to what made the orginal so great and giving this to a director who would bring his passion and intensity to the project.
So what say you Talkbackers? Are the ELITE SQUAD films good precursors for a ROBOCOP film? I'm interested in reading your opinions, and for now, I'm going to track those films down (and they go on a long list of things I need to see these days).