It’s no secret that director Jose Padilha’s 2014 remake of the seminal 1987 classic RoboCop is certain to revitalize interest in the character and his world for a new generation.
Thanks to the power of Netflix, I have been re-watching not only the films of the original RoboCop trilogy, but also episodes from a lesser-known live action miniseries. Whether you accept only the first film as canon or think RoboCop 3 was the best sci-fi film of the 1990s, these little factoids are sure interest any fan of the cyborg hero.
1. There have actually been seven RoboCop films.
Around the year 2000, Canada’s Space Channel showed a four episode mini-series called RoboCop: Prime Directives which took place ten years after the events of the original trilogy, and even featured an African-American man as a cyborg in a similar situation to that of RoboCop. Each episode was the length of a feature film.
2. Frank Miller’s treatment for the sequels has actually seen the light of day.
Frank Miller, the writer/artist responsible for The Dark Knight Returns, Sin City, and an exemplary run on Marvel’s Daredevil, was one of the co-writers from RoboCop 2 and 3. However, the film studio saw Miller’s initial treatment as “un-filmable” and made drastic edits to his initially gritty vision. In 2003, Miller’s script was adapted into a comic for Avatar Press, with art by Juan Jose Ryp. Though it’s hard to find now, Miller’s comic makes an interesting contrast to the version of the story that was articulated in the films.
3. You’ve probably seen (or heard) “Bob Morton” in more films and TV shows than you think.
Miguel Ferrer, the actor who played the role of Bob Morton in the original film, was the voice of Shan Yu in Disney’s Mulan, Aquaman and Weather Wizard in Superman: The Animated Series, and also plays Death on Adventure Time, just to name a few.
4. There was a RoboCop video game for the Xbox, released in 2003. It has been referred to by some as the worst game since Superman 64.
5. There are some great new figures of Robo on the market, thanks to NECA.
NECA has done some great things for adult collectors of action figures in times of late, such as their Terminator line and the recent 25th anniversary collection of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles figures. Their new line of RoboCop figures is no exception to their excellent track record. There is currently a glow-in-the-dark RoboCop (a nice retro throwback to the Kenner figures of yesteryear), a battle-damaged version, a figure with the trademark leg-holster mechanism, and a standard sculpt suitable for poses on one’s bookshelf or entertainment center.