Joel Kinnaman on RoboCop: "What we're seeing is the director's cut"

News Ryan Lambie
6 Feb 2014 - 06:06

Actor Joel Kinnaman talks about the RoboCop's first test screening, and how the final cut remains true to the director's original ideas...

When it was announced that Jose Padilha's RoboCop remake would be a PG-13 (or 12A if you're in the UK), there was an understandable amount of consternation about it. Did the rating mean that the new RoboCop would be watered down for a younger audience? Had the director been forced by a cash-hungry studio to make a less violent, less adult movie - essentially a comic book movie without the Marvel/DC branding?

In our new interview, Joel Kinnaman talked a bit about his own early misgivings over the notion of a RoboCop remake ("The only concern I had after meeting Jose was, how the hell is he going to get a studio to pay $120m plus to make a movie like this?"), and how a studio's desire to capture the largest possible audience can often result in a pale imitation of the original.

"...when the movie starts to come together and there’s a lot of money involved, there’s a fear of alienating different parts of the audience group," Kinnaman said. "And that’s why so many of these big films can appear a bit bland, because they want them to be available to everyone."

The turning point, according to Kinnaman, came when an early cut of RoboCop was shown to test audiences.

"In the first test screening of RoboCop, it tested very high," Kinnaman said. "Then they asked the people why they liked it, and the first answer was, 'I liked it because it was political.' And the second answer was because, 'It feels like it deals with current affairs.' And the third answer was, 'Because it feels emotional.'"

As a result, it seems that some of the studio's potential fears about the film being too political or not exciting enough were assuaged:

"So all these things the studio might have wanted to tone down - maybe tone down a bit of the drama, tone down the political aspects of it, tone down the implications of current politics - that’s what the audience liked. So that’s why the movie that we’re seeing is the director’s cut. And that’s very rare."

Whether we'll see a slightly longer (or violent) version of the new RoboCop remains to be seen. But as far as Kinnaman's concerned, it seems that the edit we'll see in cinemas is the one its director intended, not one fiddled with by its studio.

You can read our full interview with Joel Kinnaman here. RoboCop's out in UK cinemas tomorrow.

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