Paul Verhoeven’s 1987 RoboCop is widely hailed as a sci-fi-action classic, and if you’re the kind of hardcore fan who can spout quotes from memory (“I’d buy that for a dollar!” “Dead or alive, you’re coming with me”), you may be understandably a little wary about Sony’s upcoming remake, which hits theaters Feb. 12.
Actor Joel Kinnaman (AMC’s The Killing), who’s stepping into the role originally played by Peter Weller — a mortally wounded Detroit cop turned into a deadly law-enforcement machine by a sinister corporation — totally gets it. Kinnaman grew up loving Verhoeven’s film and admits he wasn’t initially all that interested in signing on to the remake. In the end, he says, he was won over by the prospect of working with filmmaker José Padilha, the Brazilian director of Bus 174 and Elite Squad, who promised a fresh take on the RoboCop story, one that would let Kinnaman delve a little deeper into the character of Alex Murphy, the man inside the metal suit.
“It was important to me that the visor not be covering my face all the time,” says Kinnaman (pictured above with Marianne Jean-Baptiste, who plays the Detroit Chief of Police). He laughs. “It’s hard to act with just your jaw.”