Why 2014 RoboCop Remake Failed Candidly Explained By Star


  • Joel Kinnaman reflects on the failure of the 2014 RoboCop remake, of which he was the star, admitting that the film should’ve “listened more to the fans“.
  • Kinnaman also cites the loss of the unique satirical tone of Paul Verhoeven’s original as a shortcoming of the remake.
  • 2014’s RoboCop was met with mostly negative reviews and disappointed at the box office, but Amazon’s recent acquisition of MGM means that another remake or reboot is likely on the way.

RoboCop star Joel Kinnaman candidly explains why his 2014 remake failed. Directed by José Padilha, the 2014 sci-fi action film serves as a remake of director Paul Verhoeven’s 1987 RoboCop. While Peter Weller played the titular robotic police officer in the original, Kinnaman took the reins for the remake, but the film ended up disappointing both critically and commercially.

Now, almost ten years later, Kinnaman reflects on 2014’s RoboCop in a recent interview with While the actor believes that Padilha approached the film with some interesting ideas, he admits that a key ingredient was missing from the final product. Check out Kinnaman’s full comment below:

“It was a cool experience. I think if I would have done it now, I think I would have inserted myself more into it. I love [director] José’s [Padilha] concept into it. The one thing, I think, was lacking in that film, I like to be self-critical, I think that it was one of those films where I think, we who made it didn’t fully take into account what RoboCop was for the fans.

“Tonally, that sort of [Paul] Verhoeven satire, because it’s so ingrained in the RoboCop franchise and its being. It’s different when a new filmmaker comes in and puts his voice on it, and José had a very clear image of what he wanted to do, it was an anti-impirialistic take, and I think that movie would have done better if we had listened more to the fans beforehand. But I think it stands alone … I almost think the RoboCop film we did would have been a better movie if it wouldn’t have been named ‘RoboCop.'”

RoboCop Remake’s Poor Reception Explained

Joel Kinnamon looking at his robotic hand in front of Gary Oldman in 2014's RoboCop.

2014’s RoboCop currently sits at a lackluster 49% on Rotten Tomatoes, with an audience score that matches. This is in stark contrast to the original film’s 92%, with the audience score not far behind at 84%. Clearly, then, something got lost when Padilha took his crack at modernizing the story.

In 2018, District 9 director Neill Blomkamp was announced to be helming a new RoboCop movie, which would have been a direct sequel to the original. The filmmaker left the project in 2019, and it has seemingly now been scrapped.

Kinnaman has tapped into a key complaint regarding 2014’s RoboCop, which is that it loses the satirical element of the original film. Verhoeven’s 1987 movie was released at a time when the idea of what it meant to be an action star was changing. Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry, for example, was violent and ruthless, and RoboCop can very much be seen as a response to characters like this. The film, in fact, serves as a commentary on a host of issues, including politics, capitalism, and even the militarization of police forces.

2014’s RoboCop touches on similar themes, but it doesn’t, according to the general critical consensus, really offer up anything new or interesting in this regard. It’s possible that the remake’s PG-13 rating was also part of the problem, with the two films feeling very far apart tonally and in terms of their levels of violence. With Amazon having now acquired MGM, RoboCop will likely be getting another big-screen adaptation, and capturing the essence of the original will evidently be crucial to any future project’s success.


  • RoboCop 2014 Poster

    RoboCop (2014)

    Release Date:

    Jose Padilha

    Joel Kinnaman, Michael Keaton, Gary Oldman, Abbie Cornish, Samuel L. Jackson


    2h 1m

    Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller, Superhero, Crime

    James Vanderbilt, Joshua Zetumer, David Self

    100–130 million



    RoboCop, Robocop 2, RoboCop 3



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