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Production for MGM’s remake of “Robocop” has yet to begin and already it’s besieged with problems. Talks with Hugh Laurie, who was attached to play the villain opposite Joel Kinnaman’s Alex Murphy, have broken down. Clive Owen (“Sin City”) is now in talks to take his place. The script has received poor reviews and now director José Padilha is reportedly going through hell trying to bring his vision to life.

The statement comes from “City of God” director Fernando Meirelles, a friend of Padilhas’. He told Cinemacom Rapadura via Screen Crush, “I talked to José Padilha for a week by phone. He will begin filming “Robocop”. He is saying that it is the worst experience. For every 10 ideas he has, 9 are cut. Whatever he wants, he has to fight… ‘This is hell here,’ he told me. ‘The film will be good, but I never suffered so much and do not want to do it again.’ He is bitter, but it’s a fighter.” It’s translated from Portuguese, but the meaning is clear.

You mean to say that a major Hollywood studio that has a lot invested in a remake of an incredibly popular character with a successful franchise is giving a rookie director a hard time? José Padilha is an intelligent guy who has mostly directed documentaries in his native Brazil so it’s little wonder that MGM is calling into question his every decision. But so far is casting choices are good. Joel Kinnaman will play Alex Murphy/Robocop with Gary Oldman, Samuel L. Jackson, Abbie Cornish, Jay Baruchel, Jennifer Ehle and Michael K. Williams rounding out the supporting cast. “Robocop” is slated for release August 9, 2013.

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