Paul Verhoeven's undoubtedly been one of the most interesting directors of the past thirty years.
Originally beginning his career in Dutch arthouse films, Verhoeven went on to direct some of the most commercially successful - and delightfully subversive - films of the '80s and '90s.
Starship Troopers, for example, was actually designed to be a satire of Nazi propaganda films with sci-fi trappings whilst Robocop was nothing more than a gigantic middle-finger to Reagan's America.
In the case of both Robocop and Total Recall, remakes eventually followed that had absolutely nothing on what came before. In a recent interview with Collider, Verhoeven was asked about his opinion on both remakes and was refreshingly candid about them.
"Somehow they seem to think that the lightness of, say, Total Recall and Robocop is a hindrance. So they take these somewhat absurd stories and make them much too serious. I think that is a mistake."
"Especially in Robocop when he awakens they gave him the same brain. He’s a horribly injured and amputated victim, which is horrifying and tragic from the very beginning. So we didn’t do that in Robocop. His brain is gone and he has only flashes of memory and needs to go to a computer to find out who he even is."
What's even more interesting is that Verhoeven said they were planning on bringing him back for the sequel, but threw out his notes and rewrote the thing themselves because he took too long to develop a sequel.
"Orion didn’t want to wait, so they used other people. But I just heard that MGM was thinking of picking up the ideas that we were working on in ’87 (Laughs). I don’t know if they’ll do it, but they are talking about it."
Jose Padilha, who directed the Robocop remake, is a fine director and is currently working on Netflix's excellent series, Narcos. Many people believed that he was pretty much hamstrung by studio interference throughout the filming and that many of his ideas were kicked back and thrown out for being too weird.
When you watch the Robocop remake, this definitely becomes clear - just look at the opening sequence in Iraq and you get the sense that there was something much more inventive and subversive going on. Still, the idea of Paul Verhoeven moving back to mainstream cinema and even possibly working on the sequel has us excited.