Joel Kinnaman Talks Disappointing RoboCop Reboot From 2014

2014’s RoboCop star Joel Kinnaman believes that the reboot never lived up to its title.

Kinnaman spoke to to promote his role in John Woo‘s latest action movie, Silent Night. During the interview, the actor reflected on the experience and the shortcomings of Sony’s reboot based on Paul Verhoeven‘s 1987 sci-fi classic.

“It was a cool experience. I think if I would have done it now, I think I would have inserted myself more into it,” Kinnaman said. “I love [director José Padilha’s] concept into it. 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.”

Kinnaman continued, “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 [sic] 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 … I almost think the RoboCop film we did would have been a better movie if it wouldn’t have been named ‘RoboCop.'”

What was the RoboCop reboot about?

Released in early 2014, RoboCop was an attempt to relaunch the franchise in the style of the modern superhero movie genre. Like the original movie, the reboot tells the story of Detroit cop Alex Murphy (Kinnaman), who is critically injured in the line of duty and before being resurrected into a corporate-controlled cyborg police officer. Kinnaman headlined a star-studded cast that also included Michael Keaton, Gary Oldman, Samuel L. Jackson, and Jackie Earle Haley. The reboot was met with mixed reviews and underperformed at the worldwide box office.

In 2018, director Neill Blomkamp was attached to helm the legacy sequel titled RoboCop Returns, which was to take place exactly one day after the original 1987 movie. Blomkamp left the project a year later and it has gone unproduced since. Most recently, the franchise found a new life as the video game RoboCop: Rogue City featuring original star Peter Weller reprising the title role in voice-over form.