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SDCC 2013: Robocop - Highlights From The 'Robocop' Panel

Reported by Outsiders - 2013.07.19

The following are the highlights from the Robocop panel.

The event starts out with a video showing a message from Samuel L. Jackson. It’s commercial for robots patrolling the streets in Teran. He’s furious that Americans are “Robophobic” and then we cut to material in the states with Michael Keaton’s character who’s having a discussion about these very robots. Then it jump back to Teran where the seemingly organized and successful situation blows up in Jackson’s face with the robots firing at innocent civilians. Before concluding, the piece jumps back to Keaton who admits that the robots feel nothing. Even if they were to murder an innocent, they’d feel nothing.

Director José Padilha, Abby Cornish and Michael Keaton hit the stage, followed by Samuel L. Jackson. Finishing up the list is Joel Kinnaman.

Keaton calls his character the ultimate pragmatist.

Jackson calls Pat Novack “Rush Sharpton,” a guy with an opinion who isn’t afraid to state it and will do whatever he has to to get people to believe it.

Kinnaman says his character doesn’t die. He’s amused from the throat down. Over the course of the film he has an internal battle with the AI and his own soul or humanity. That was the challenge for Kinnamn.

Cornish says the idea of love, marriage, and having a child ground the film. She says it was kind of nice to play a woman who really caught for a man.

Trailer shown - Alex Murphy’s car alarm goes off and explodes with him nearby. Then it cuts to Keaton’s Raymond Sellars saying, “We’re gonna put a man inside a machine.” Alex goes into surgery and Gary Oldman’s character explains that if he survives, he’ll be confined to a wheel chair. From there, we go back to Keaton who’s helping design the look of the robot. The Alex/RoboCop comes in – it’s much like the original design, but sleeker and black with glowing red eyes. There’s a black and white shot, seemingly from RoboCop’s perspective, of cops invading a hallway and loads of heat sensor imagery. Eventually Cornish’s Ellen Murphy stops RoboCop and insists that she knows Alex is still inside. A doctor character notes, “Somehow he’s overriding the system’s priority.”

Padilha points out that if a cop shoots an innocent victim, that cop can be taken to court and/or reprimanded, but a robot can’t be held accountable.

Jackson says he’s here to get us pumped for the release of the film.

Keaton says technically his character isn’t a villain, rather an antagonist. He calls the role complex because he didn’t want him to be a cliche bad guy. He calls him mentally healthy, but whether you agree with him or not is another issue.

The film will be released on February 7, 2014

The panel ends...

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