There are few British actors – or any actors, for that matter – who are more respected in the industry than Gary Oldman. With as diverse a filmography as you can imagine stretching back more than thirty years, he has earned his status as one of cinema’s greatest thespians. On behalf of HeyUGuys, I was thrilled to have a chance to speak with him about his latest venture, the Jose Padilha reimagining of RoboCop, in which he plays the doctor responsible for bestowing Alex Murphy with his robotic enhancements.
In the course of our chat, Oldman tells us what he thinks his most challenging role has been to date and what he feels is the reason stories such as RoboCop continue to be revisited, in addition to divulging a few tidbits on his upcoming blockbuster Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
It’s no surprise that Paul Verhoeven’s RoboCop has stood the test of time. A perfect mix of biting satire, black humour and thrilling action, fans of the beloved cult hit were less than happy when a remake was announced. Thankfully, rather than go the direct remake route, José Padilha’s 2014 reimagining is an intelligent piece of sci-fi entertainment in its own right.
Padilha’s RoboCop takes place in the year 2028, with Multinational Corporation OmniCorp vying to put its robot drones on US streets to help police its citizens as they have done in Iran. However, the initiative is continually derailed by public and governmental anxiety, due in no small part to the drones’ empathy-void nature. Enter Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman), an honest cop who is critically injured after an attempt on his life. Calling on bionic engineer Dennett Norton (Gary Oldman), OmniCorp CEO Raymond Sellers (Michael Keaton) quickly grabs the chance to build a new breed of law enforcement officer that’s part-man, part-machine: RoboCop.