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nuRobocop Actor explains why his remake will suck...


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#1 enTranced

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 03:41 PM

And this is where I knew without any doubt in my mind the new Robocop movie would suck.

http://www.aintitcool.com/node/54552

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     "ROBOCOP is going to be a lot more human. The first movie is one of my favorite movies. I love it. Of course, Verhoeven has that very special tone, and it’s not going to have that tone. It’s a re-imagination of it. There’s a lot of stuff from the original. There are some details and throwbacks, but this version is a much better acting piece, for Alex Murphy and especially when he is RoboCop. It's much more challenging."

    "It's not going to be jaw action. They’re still working on the suit and how it’s going to look, but the visor is going to be see-through. You’re going to see his eyes."

I love Robocop with all my heart but really it's not all that complicated. Murphy is human then he "dies" and is replaced by Robocop and then through his experiences you get to see more and more of his face as he regains his humanity.

Any remake that does not get that is not a remake I am interested in.

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Edited by enTranced, 27 March 2012 - 03:41 PM.

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#2 Christopher

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 04:09 PM

Well, that's predictable. You always want remakes to be exactly like the originals. Whereas I always think that would be a complete waste of time and the only reason to do a remake is to find a different angle on the concept.
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#3 enTranced

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 08:41 AM

View PostChristopher, on 27 March 2012 - 04:09 PM, said:

Well, that's predictable. You always want remakes to be exactly like the originals. Whereas I always think that would be a complete waste of time and the only reason to do a remake is to find a different angle on the concept.

Close but not 100%.

The question I like to ask is : Does Movie X need a remake, or if it doesn't need one can we at least do something worthwhile that the original could not do?

Robocop does not need a remake. It didn't even need the sequels it had. It started it finished and it was enjoyable.

Did Robocop fail to do anything it should have? There is some debate there I'll give you. But I really don't think they missed out on anything.

But more to the point of this thread. A Robocop that fails to grasp a simple design from the original is not one I am interested in. It was so huge when Robocop takes off his helmet and it is Murphy still in there. That was a huge part of the movie* and to rob a viewer of that....well that is just lame.

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* - Sidebar : This is also why Robocop 2 while the best of the sequels is still a much weaker movie then Robocop because we are forced to go in reverse. He is Murphy and because his family gives him a sad, for no good reason at all decides "Hey, this humanity thing? It sucks. Seeya!".
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#4 Christopher

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 09:09 AM

Yes, the reveal was a huge part of that RoboCop story.  It worked when the concept was new.  By now, though, everyone knows that RoboCop is Murphy, so putting that same reveal in a remake wouldn't have the same impact.  It would just be going through the motions to slavishly imitate the past.  It's exactly the sort of thing that shouldn't be done in a reboot.

What makes a remake/reboot worthwhile is finding a different angle on the concept, not just copying what was done before.  There's a lot of potential in the RoboCop concept that the original film never touched on.  For instance, I recently saw some comments from the reboot's lead actor suggesting that they're tackling an interesting idea, a scientific concept that simply wasn't known when the original movie was made: namely, that our consciousness and identity may reside more in our bodies and less exclusively in our brains than we realize.  So what happens when you replace a person's body with machinery may be a more drastic change than we used to imagine.  And I think that's worth exploring.

One way in which I think the movies (including the original) failed to develop the full potential of the RoboCop concept was that once Robo remembered his origins, he was just Murphy in a metal suit from then on.  One of the reasons the 1994 TV series is my favorite incarnation of RoboCop is that they didn't just settle for that.  To me, what's intriguing about RoboCop as a character is that he's not just Alex Murphy.  Alex Murphy died.  A huge portion of his brain was destroyed by Clarence's bullet.  What's left is just fragments of who he was.  RoboCop is a composite of those fragments of a dead man's mind with the programming of a machine.  And RoboCop: The Series is the only incarnation to date that's really explored that concept.  The show's RoboCop has Murphy's ethics, imagination, and compassion combined with and tempering the machine's police programming, and thus has become a being who's the fusion of both and is better than both, although less in some ways than the man he once was.

That is so much more interesting to me than just having him remember he's Murphy and simply be Murphy from that point on.  I already feel the '94 series improved on the original movie in that respect.  So if this reboot wants to develop a similar idea, to explore how Murphy becomes something genuinely different as a result of his transformation and has to cope with the questions that raises about his identity and his humanity, I think that's definitely a story worth telling.

Edited by Christopher, 28 March 2012 - 09:10 AM.

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#5 enTranced

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 09:50 AM

^ But then, as is the case for about 90% of the remakes we have jammed down our throats....why call it Robocop? Or whatever is being remade today.

Even in the case of remakes like Fright Night which aren't complete and utter crap the question I always end up asking is why was this done? Other then cash what did they hope to accomplish? And yes, I know it's a business but there should also be a artistic question as well.

And to prove that I am not a total original above all else hardliner:

So, enTranced what movies would you say need a remake?

I'm glad you asked, there was talk about remaking The Black Hole. And yes. Right there is a great candidate for a remake. I enjoyed the movie even though as a kid I knew it wasn't all there. Plus we have learned so much about black holes since the movie came out and we are finally far enough from Star Wars that we really don't need the R2D2 surrogates eating up valuable screen time.

Of course there are others but today, right now I would love to watch a smart remakeof The Black Hole.


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Edited by enTranced, 28 March 2012 - 09:52 AM.

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#6 Christopher

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 10:29 AM

View PostenTranced, on 28 March 2012 - 09:50 AM, said:

^ But then, as is the case for about 90% of the remakes we have jammed down our throats....why call it Robocop? Or whatever is being remade today.

People who ask that question don't understand how creativity works.  There's nothing wrong with taking a familiar concept and taking it in a whole new direction.  That kind of variation on a theme is the basis of a wealth of human creativity going back millennia.  Virtually all of Shakespeare's plays were based on pre-existing stories, myths, historical events, etc., but he often took them in radically new directions and turned them into profoundly different stories.  He didn't change the name because there's no good reason to -- because there's nothing wrong with linking a new idea to a past idea while still taking it in a radically new direction.  All creativity is a dialogue with the past, taking pre-existing elements and repurposing and reinventing them.  Every new work is inspired by earlier works, even if that inspiration involves questioning and challenging and reinterpreting the original.  So there's nothing wrong with acknowledging that inspiration, with being honest about the source for the story you're telling.

RoboCop is an iconic concept.  The thing about icons is that they have meaning beyond a single story.  I've already told you how I see potential in the concept of RoboCop that goes far beyond what the original movie did with it -- that in fact I think the original movie failed to do nearly enough with the really interesting potentials of the concept.  I already think that the TV series' version developed the concept far more richly than the movie did.  So of course there's good reason for a remake to keep the name while developing the concept in a whole new direction.  Because that core concept has a lot more potential within it than the original movie was successful at exploring.  So yes, you can keep the core concept and themes of RoboCop and find a whole new way to tell the story.  Any really worthwhile concept has that kind of flexibility inherent in it.  If there's only one possible way to tell the story or explore the character, then it's too shallow to be worthy of iconic status.


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Even in the case of remakes like Fright Night which aren't complete and utter crap the question I always end up asking is why was this done? Other then cash what did they hope to accomplish? And yes, I know it's a business but there should also be a artistic question as well.

Like I said, any worthwhile story has potentials in it beyond what gets onscreen.  It inspires the viewer to wonder about those untouched possibilities.  This is why people write fanfiction.  Sometimes you can explore those possibilities through sequels or tie-ins, but sometimes that's not enough.  We all bring our own perspectives to the stories we read or watch, and sometimes they inspire thoughts in us that can't be explored in the original continuity.  Sometimes we wonder "What if it had happened this way instead of that way?" or think "I wish they'd developed this aspect of the idea instead of taking the story in a direction that ruled it out."  In that case, the only way to go is a reboot or retelling.

There are so many ways to go with a RoboCop reboot that could be worthwhile.  The original was so much a product of '80s culture, but the core ideas of the loss of human identity, the merger of man and machine, the questions of freedom versus property, and the like are not limited to that setting.  They could certainly be explored in a fresh way in a more modern context, tied into current concerns about technology and society and economy and politics, and drawing on modern technology wherein bionics and prosthetics are increasingly a reality rather than a distant fantasy.  Hell, there's enough philosophical and conceptual depth in the idea to spawn multiple completely different interpretations.

Edited by Christopher, 28 March 2012 - 10:30 AM.

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#7 enTranced

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 11:43 AM

View PostChristopher, on 28 March 2012 - 10:29 AM, said:


People who ask that question don't understand how creativity works.  There's nothing wrong with taking a familiar concept and taking it in a whole new direction.  

No, there isn't and I never said there was but if you are going to do that give it a new name. The creators of the new Total Recall say there version is closer to the original story "We can Remember It For You Wholesale" then Total Recall. Great. So why call it Total Recall? I don't need that clunky title, shorten it if you want John Carpenter did it for his remake of The Thing From Another World" (one of the very few remakes I love).

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RoboCop is an iconic concept.  The thing about icons is that they have meaning beyond a single story.  I've already told you how I see potential in the concept of RoboCop that goes far beyond what the original movie did with it -- that in fact I think the original movie failed to do nearly enough with the really interesting potentials of the concept.  I already think that the TV series' version developed the concept far more richly than the movie did.  So of course there's good reason for a remake to keep the name while developing the concept in a whole new direction.  Because that core concept has a lot more potential within it than the original movie was successful at exploring.  So yes, you can keep the core concept and themes of RoboCop and find a whole new way to tell the story.  Any really worthwhile concept has that kind of flexibility inherent in it.  If there's only one possible way to tell the story or explore the character, then it's too shallow to be worthy of iconic status.

I didn't like the TV show as much as you did (I thought it was A - kinda cheap looking and B - timid when the movie it wanted to be was neither. But I didn't hate it either since it at least tried to continue to the story it didn't try to replace the story.

I don't mind sequels or prequels because they exist outside and you can pick and choose if you like them or don't. To me, Robocop 3 never happened because, Dear God, really?? but even if it was a little disappointing I will allow Robocop 2 because of the sheer awesome in many of the sequences.


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There are so many ways to go with a RoboCop reboot that could be worthwhile.  The original was so much a product of '80s culture, but the core ideas of the loss of human identity, the merger of man and machine, the questions of freedom versus property, and the like are not limited to that setting.  They could certainly be explored in a fresh way in a more modern context, tied into current concerns about technology and society and economy and politics, and drawing on modern technology wherein bionics and prosthetics are increasingly a reality rather than a distant fantasy.  Hell, there's enough philosophical and conceptual depth in the idea to spawn multiple completely different interpretations.

Uncontested.

That said...

Prequel, Sequel and heck I will say it even if I think it is completely unwanted and unnecessary, remake, all I ask is it to BE Robocop. If you fail to do that then please don't waste my time.

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#8 Christopher

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 12:23 PM

Sure, I want it to be RoboCop.  But I don't want it to be the same RoboCop.  I want it to capture the essence and make it entirely new at the same time.  Those are not incompatible goals.
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#9 Lambsilencer

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 12:30 PM

On that note: I'm very much looking forward to what they did with "Total Recall". The remake is supposed to be much more close to the original novel by Philip K. Dick. Looking forward to it.

As well as the just-announced "Carrie" remake, which is supposed to be following the original text from Stephen King more closely than the Brian De Palma movie. That, and ChloŽ Grace Moretz. That girl will hit this role right out of the park.

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#10 Christopher

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 12:52 PM

And why they're calling the remake Total Recall should be obvious.  That title has more name recognition than the original and will generate more buzz and attention for the movie.  Look how John Carter bombed because of a weak title that didn't give people any inkling of what it was about.  And of course there's no way you can fit "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale" on a movie poster or theater marquee.

Not to mention that, whatever its differences, the remake will be paying tribute to the Verhoeven film in some ways.  We can already see that in the design of the Rekall machine in the teaser trailer.  As I've been saying, there's no reason you can't pay tribute to an earlier work and do something radically different with it at the same time.  The Verhoeven film is part of the cultural legacy of this concept now, so it can't just be ignored.  Taking the story in a whole different direction while still acknowledging the influence of the first screen adaptation is a perfectly sensible way to go about it.
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#11 enTranced

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 01:23 PM

View PostLambsilencer, on 28 March 2012 - 12:30 PM, said:


As well as the just-announced "Carrie" remake, which is supposed to be following the original text from Stephen King more closely than the Brian De Palma movie. That, and ChloŽ Grace Moretz. That girl will hit this role right out of the park.

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I hadn't heard about trying to follow the text from the novel, interesting and that answers the why question from my Carrie thread.

And we agree on Chloe, although I still say she is a little young for the part. Especialy the shower scene that opens the book and the original movie.

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#12 Lambsilencer

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 02:48 PM

^^ Yes, that might be a bit of a problematic scene, although ChloŽ is actually pretty much the right age to have, well, that first time with this particular incident. How they're gonna film it remains to be seen. But I'm sure they won't do it in an inappropriate way, since they don't want to tank the movie based on a scandal like that.

As for following the original text more, I got it from Comingsoon:

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The new version of Carrie, to be scripted by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, is said to be less a remake of the De Palma film and more a re-adaptation of the original text.

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#13 JudasRimmer

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 08:31 AM

View PostenTranced, on 28 March 2012 - 09:50 AM, said:

^ But then, as is the case for about 90% of the remakes we have jammed down our throats....why call it Robocop? Or whatever is being remade today.

Even in the case of remakes like Fright Night which aren't complete and utter crap the question I always end up asking is why was this done? Other then cash what did they hope to accomplish? And yes, I know it's a business but there should also be a artistic question as well.

And to prove that I am not a total original above all else hardliner:

So, enTranced what movies would you say need a remake?

I'm glad you asked, there was talk about remaking The Black Hole. And yes. Right there is a great candidate for a remake. I enjoyed the movie even though as a kid I knew it wasn't all there. Plus we have learned so much about black holes since the movie came out and we are finally far enough from Star Wars that we really don't need the R2D2 surrogates eating up valuable screen time.

Of course there are others but today, right now I would love to watch a smart remakeof The Black Hole.


enTranced

I'd be up for a remake of "The Black Hole" too ; it was a film that had ambition,an intriguing concept,and enough budget to be a very good film. It was also sufficiently un-Disneylike to appeal beyond the kids. But it could be improved by losing those little floating robots with the googly eyes (they were silly) and a better,more scientifically up-to-date ending. I never really got what that was supposed to mean. Gotta keep Maximillian though,and the "crew" [who they were was a big plot point,but it might be a spoiler to expand further...],but it's unlikely seeing as Disney just lost a lot of cash on JCOM.

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#14 enTranced

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 08:52 AM

View PostJudasRimmer, on 29 March 2012 - 08:31 AM, said:


I'd be up for a remake of "The Black Hole" too ; it was a film that had ambition,an intriguing concept,and enough budget to be a very good film. It was also sufficiently un-Disneylike to appeal beyond the kids. But it could be improved by losing those little floating robots with the googly eyes (they were silly) and a better,more scientifically up-to-date ending. I never really got what that was supposed to mean. Gotta keep Maximillian though,and the "crew" [who they were was a big plot point,but it might be a spoiler to expand further...],but it's unlikely seeing as Disney just lost a lot of cash on JCOM.

Dave.

Well the ending was supposed to be Disney's 2001. Only linking a weird trip through hell to a Black Hole is really more Event Horizon then 2001 so...off a little bit. :p

I didn't hate the fact of the worker bots but I disliked even as a kid making them R2D2s on steroids, even the horrible Grandpa Simpson voice they gave one of them. So I would say keep the worker robots but make them more realistic. Yes keep Maximillian! There is no Black Hole without him!

I also want to keep the gothic sets and the lights/glass look of the Cygnus, although again, in 2012 you have to be careful to not make it look to much like Event Horizon. And until I started typing this I never realized just how close Event Horizon and The Black Hole were.... :eek2:

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#15 JudasRimmer

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 10:35 AM

IDK they were aiming for "2001"...hmmm,yeah,off a little bit. The ending of TBH was just...huh,what,huh? EH made the link far better,although I'd say the films were quite different except maybe for the scale of the ships. I would make the worker bots scutters,but that's just me. The "Cygnus" always reminded me a little of the Eagles from Space 1999 too.

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#16 enTranced

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 11:35 AM

I found a great picture of the Cygnus:

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I always got gothic castle / creepy greenhouse from the Cygnus.

It makes sense that you get a Space 1999 since both are from the school of 70's science fiction design which has always been my favorite design school.

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#17 Christopher

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 11:38 AM

View PostJudasRimmer, on 29 March 2012 - 08:31 AM, said:

I'd be up for a remake of "The Black Hole" too ; it was a film that had ambition,an intriguing concept,and enough budget to be a very good film. It was also sufficiently un-Disneylike to appeal beyond the kids. But it could be improved by losing those little floating robots with the googly eyes (they were silly) and a better,more scientifically up-to-date ending.

I liked V.I.N.CENT -- you can't go wrong with Roddy McDowall, and his personality wasn't so much "cute" as philosophical, acerbic, and rather tough.

As for the science, yeah, the ending's bizarre, but The Black Hole actually did a better job with its science than most SF films, at least in some respects.  Its microgravity sequences in the beginning were impressively well-done, and they actually did their research where the black hole was concerned.  Although the results are mixed; TBH was the first screen depiction of a black hole with an accretion disk, so points for research there; but points off for giving an accretion disk to a solo black hole rather than a member of a binary system, since there shouldn't have been any source of matter to feed an accretion disk.  Unfortunately, every subsequent screen depiction of a black hole has imitated that one and perpetuated the same error.
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#18 offworlder

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 11:55 AM

yes but when you take some new direction or develop some angle you should change the title- I never see movies that have the same old title, didn't see the new conan, or the new clash of the titans, did see the newer miami vice but didn't like it like the old one.
did see the new king kong but that was pretty like the original story it could keep the title

if they remade E.T. I wouldn't go near it
and prolly won't see the new Baz Gatsby either

interesting piece , like I think,
http://www.moviegno....-5-that-should/

> did like the new 3.10 to Yuma, a major exception to the rule, they did an awesome job
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#19 enTranced

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 12:52 PM

View Postoffworlder, on 29 March 2012 - 11:55 AM, said:

yes but when you take some new direction or develop some angle you should change the title- I never see movies that have the same old title, didn't see the new conan, or the new clash of the titans, did see the newer miami vice but didn't like it like the old one.


It gets even better when you have a prequel to The Thing and you call it The Thing.

What? The? Hell? Hollywood?

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#20 Christopher

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Posted 29 March 2012 - 01:12 PM

View Postoffworlder, on 29 March 2012 - 11:55 AM, said:

yes but when you take some new direction or develop some angle you should change the title...

No, you really shouldn't.  Like I said, if you're inspired by an earlier work and want to explore a variation on it, it's only honest and right to acknowledge your inspiration.  Exploring variations on a theme is a basic, natural part of creativity, so doing a variation doesn't mean you should deny the unifying theme.

Look at all the countless different variations of Batman that exist by now.  That's a character who's been taken in many new directions.  At first he was a dark, violent avenger; then he became a wholesome father figure and duly deputized lawman having wacky adventures.  Then Denny O'Neill turned him back into a relatively serious figure, but still not completely removed from his lighter days.  Then Frank Miller offered a radically darker, exaggerated vision of Batman in The Dark Knight Returns, and subsequent comics adopted that revisionist version as the norm.  Meanwhile, in screen adaptations, we've gone from the racist government agent of the '43 serial to the campy comedy hero of the '66 series to the darker but still campy and surreal Tim Burton version to the brilliant, multilayered Bruce Timm/Alan Burnett/Paul Dini version in animation to the grounded grittiness of the Christopher Nolan version to the madcap Silver-Age distillation of The Brave and the Bold.  Should all those different visions and directions for the character been given different names and treated as wholly separate superheroes?  Hell, no!  Because they all sprang (no pun intended) from a common source and drew on the same fundamentals and core mythology, and because most of them cross-pollinated and influenced each other.  All of them together make up the tradition that makes Batman one of the greatest figures in American popular culture.  Carve it up into a bunch of rigidly segregated, unrelated pieces and that legacy couldn't exist.

This is how creativity works.  It is not a bunch of completely isolated things forever segregated behind unbreachable walls.  It is a constant intermingling of ideas and influences, a conversation between different perceptions and variations of a core idea.  Adding fresh takes and angles on the same core idea doesn't diminish or betray that idea, it adds to it, gives it more breadth and depth and influence.  That is nothing to fear or run from.

If Batman can thrive in such widely different incarnations and still be Batman, then why can't RoboCop do the same?  Why should one iconic figure be forbidden the same growth and evolution that another has been allowed?



View PostenTranced, on 29 March 2012 - 12:52 PM, said:

It gets even better when you have a prequel to The Thing and you call it The Thing.

The 1982 film is John Carpenter's The Thing.  The prequel is simply The Thing.  (And the 1951 Howard Hawks film is The Thing from Another World.)  So it's not that hard to differentiate them.

Edited by Christopher, 29 March 2012 - 01:13 PM.

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