With the new RoboCop reboot
in theaters, we've got vintage ET footage of Peter Weller, the star of the 1987 Paul Verhoeven-directed original, talking about the project,
giving a personal tour of the set -- and showing how difficult it was to put on that unwieldy Robo-suit!
"This part, to me, it's a commercial, action, futuristic thriller on the face of it, but at the heart of it … is about the discovery of what it is to be human," said Weller, best known at the time as the star of The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension! "It's not about a bionic man or bionic woman. It's not about a human-looking thing with mechanics inside, it's about a mechanical thing with a human inside. That's the twist here."
Subversive and highly entertaining, the 1987 RoboCop is set in a crime-ridden, near-future Detroit, with the mega-corporation OCP tasked with running the city's police force. Introducing a new program with a prototype cyborg cop -- using the remains of downed cop Alex Murphy (Weller) – crime quickly gets swept under the rug by the new "sheriff" in town, but soon Murphy discovers a conspiracy that leads to the highest levels of OCP.
Asked what he thought of the RoboCop remake at the Star Trek Into Darkness Blu-ray release party, Weller declared diplomatically to the new cast and filmmakers, "Sorry guys, I wish you well -- it's going to be a hard movie to beat." He added of the original movie's themes, "It's anthropological; you can watch it in a hundred years and you can hearken back to say, 'What was the political-socio-economic dynamic? What was the idea of commercialism? What was the beginnings of the age of information, ripping off identity? What was the story of identity theft?' All that stuff is prescient to be written in 1981, filmed in 1985 or 86, and still lives."