Sunday, July 27, 2008

A Requiem for a RoboCop?

Rebooting long running movie franchises seems to be all the rage nowadays.  Some recent examples include Batman Begins and Casino Royale.  The concept of the franchise reboot makes perfect sense from the point of view of a Hollywood Studio:  It keeps the name recognition advantage of a sequel, but is friendly to new viewer who doesn't need to be familiar with the continuity of the previous films.  It also avoids the pitfalls of a prequel, where the slightest variation from established "facts" can send fans into a tizzy.

Nevertheless, I was somewhat surprised to hear that a RoboCop reboot was in the works for 2010.  I was even more surprised to hear that Darren Aronofsky had been tapped to direct the project.

Darren Aronofsky is the director of Pi and Requiem for a Dream.  I loved Pi, a film that is better understood by viewing than any summary I could give here.  Suffice it to say it involves mathematics, stockbrokers, Hasidic Jews, Gematria, and the name of God.  Besides being a good movie by its own right, it should have been required viewing for anyone who played Mage: The Ascension.

I wasn't as big a fan of Requiem for a Dream, but not because it was a bad movie.  Aronofsky did an amazing job of directing the film.  The imagery he used to portray addiction in the film was horrific.  I have to admit I had some difficulty sleeping after seeing the film, which is probably I haven't seen it nearly as many times as I have Pi.

I guess this is a long way to get around to the question: What kind of film is Aronofsky going to turn RoboCop into?  I have to admit to having a soft-spot for the original RoboCop.  Yes, I know it was cheesy.  But it was kind of a fun movie that was also an enjoyable light satire.  I am guessing "cheesy light satire" is probably not the kind of movie Aronofsky is going to make.

Still, I am a big fan of Aronofsky's work.  I also have to admit that Batman Begins and Casino Royale both prove that the reboot concept can work.  So I am definitely looking forward to seeing what Aronofsky's take is on RoboCop.

I just hope it doesn't give me nightmares.