Before joining the DC Extended Universe as Suicide Squad's Rick Flag, Joel Kinnaman's first major big-screen opportunity came as the titular hero in 2014's RoboCop reboot, with the actor recently detailing that he thinks the film was a disappointment due to the studio being largely unaware of what made the original film such a success. Kinnaman went on to imply that he believes a key component to the franchise was its mature subject matter, to the point that as soon as he was cast, he implied it would earn an R rating, only to anger executives who knew they wanted the film to have a PG-13 rating.
"What I feel like the whole movie didn't take into account is what the fans loved about [the original RoboCop]," Kinnaman explained to The Playlist. "And you have to pay homage to that. And I think the producers and the filmmakers and me included didn't really understand how to do that in the right way. I think it's a really solid movie, it just didn't fit the RoboCop concept."
While the original three films in the series might have embraced the intense subject matter of a cop whose body is revived using advanced technology to enact violent justice, its concept did go on to inspire an animated series, so the 2014 reboot wasn't the first example of the subject matter being toned down.
"That was the first big movie I did," Kinnaman explained of the experience. "I had to quell all my instincts for everything over the course of that film. I'm like, 'Why am I wearing a black suit? That doesn't make any sense at all.'"
He continued, "The first interview I did for RoboCop, and it was right after I was cast … I got the first questions for RoboCop, and the question was, 'So, is it going to be R-rated?' And I was like, 'Of course, it's going to be R-rated! Only an idiot would make RoboCop a PG-13 movie.' Cut to the next morning — 47 missed calls I woke up to."
The RoboCop reboot would go on to earn $242.7 million worldwide, but with a reported budget of $100 million and only $58.6 million of that coming domestically, it was largely considered a disappointment.
Both a RoboCop sequel and prequel TV series are in development.
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