2012 and 2013 will be entering film history as the years where all our action film darlings from the 80s & 90s are getting polished CGI overkill remakes. TOTAL RECALL, MAD MAX, JUDGE DREDD, RED DAWN, COMMANDO and of course ROBOCOP. It is evident that the poor Paul Verhoeven is getting ripped off quite a lot lately, especially since rumors of an upcoming STARSHIP TROOPERS just hit the web.
But let’s face it. Verhoeven’s films are sarcastic, dark humored and deep down apply the most striking social criticism. All three aspects are not attributed to Hollywood studio productions lately. Rather the contrary is the grim reality. Studio films have been whitewashed in massage and polished in style. A mislead doctrine that promotes characters and situations with shady ambiguity. Heroes that got no hero qualities anymore. Violence with a PG13 tag and an always sunny happy ending.
So yes, it is time to get concerned when it comes to rebooting the ROBOCOP franchise on the big screen. A franchise that shaped pop-culture and even English colloquial language all over the world. “I’d buy that for a dollar!”
Sony just started it’s (supposedly/hopefully) transmedia campaign to ROBOCOP by launching a corporate webpage for OmniCorp, the conglomerate that builds the crime fighting robots in the film. So far, we only know that the name and logo have slightly changed towards the original. It’s not OCP (Omni Consumer Products) anymore. However, the company still “offers” the Robocop model and the well known ED-209. Except for one promotional corporate video the web page does not offer much at this stage. The video itself is a fairly straight forward promotion video of the company and it’s known propaganda. No sign of actual irony, sarcasm or critique can be found. It’s not funny nor pretty much original.
Despite self-declaring the video as “viral” the studio didn’t created any specific buzz. At this stage it seems unlikely that Sony will run it’s campaign with bold and suggestive fake commercials like it has become one of the trademarks from the original films.
The ROBOCOP cult has such a strong communal power. Last year’s “Detroit needs a Robocop statue” Kickstarter campaign is only one example, but yet, Sony fails to tap into the crowd or maybe doesn’t even want to. Recent transmedia campaign attempts have proven the studios rather aim for creating a new audience inside their strong target demographic 14-20 then to serve the (demographically older) fan base that’s already in place. However, the fact that the ROBOCOP campaign starts even two months before principal Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 photography kicks off is a good sign and indicates a fixed time schedule for periodically released content.