Robocop reboot confirmed as PG-13

Comic-Con panel talk about Murphy dealing with ' how it feels to be a robot as opposed to being a human'

The cast and crew of Jose Padilha's reboot of the Paul Verhoeven classic have been discussing the reboot of Alex Murphy aka Robocop at this year's Comic-Con.

Padilha along with key members of his cast - lead Joel Kinnaman, Abbie Cornish, Samuel L. Jackson and Michael Keaton  - spoke about how the new cyborg lawman differs from Verhoebven's ultra-violent original.

[Comic-Con 2013 Preview]

The director talked about the modern issues that are being covered in the film, due in 2014: "The original Robocop tonally was very ironic and very violent, and also a critique of fascism," said Padilha. "It dealt with concepts that maybe not everyone caught on to. The relationship between fascism and robotics is very close. Like, the war in Vietnam ended because soldiers were dying; if you picture that war with robots then there wouldn't be the same pressure at home. The issue is now posed by drones. Our movie is about that, that's one part of it.

"Once you replace man with autonomous robots, accountability goes out the window. Say you have a robot hunting drug dealers and it shoots and kills a kid - whose responsibilty is that? That's going to be more and more the issue as robotics evolve."

Michael Keaton, who plays Raymond Sellars added: "It's a very current theme. It's a hugely entertaining film, while underneath it's discussing relevant ideas, but not to the degree that your brain will hurt going home. When there's smart added to the fun, it just ratchets things up exponentially. There's a moral aspect to these robots, and I think that issue is underlying it."

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However Samuel L Jackson was keen to stress a less serious aspect to the film, saying "We're not going to put that in the trailer though! We're going to put the excitement in there, and then when people come out they can tweet and say, 'Damn, that was morally intelligent!'"

Padilha continued, "We go a little further with Alex Murphy; we get to spend more time with Alex at work as an undercover cop and as a family man. And then that's the question: is he now a property? Is he owned by OmniCorp? He needs to be plugged in, he is dependant. The corporation has made him very powerful but at the same time very vulnerable. There's continuous interaction with his family after he becomes RoboCop, and that's not easy when you try to embrace your son and your wife when you just have a robotic body and you can't feel them. So it's about how it feels to be a robot as opposed to being a human."

Lead actor, Kinnaman, who plays Murphy meanwhile answered a query as to whether any of the iconic script had made it into the rewrite:  "We kept a couple of lines from the original, but we also felt that all these iconic lines from the first one were part of that movie, and the tone of that movie, so that would feel like something unjust and disrespectful."

The biggest question seems to remain over how fans will react to the film being toned down for its PG-13 rating. Director  Padilha skirted the issue somewhat by comparing the film to another recent action blockbuster:

"We shot the movie to be seen by the widest possible audience, which is PG13. I never really bought into the idea that Robocop has to be extremely violent to work. The Dark Knight is PG13."