Darren Aronofsky May Leave Robocop Due to Disagreement Over 3-D


Despite the resentment that most people harbour for every remake that rears its head in Hollywood nowadays, one of the few remakes that seems to have a lot of support behind it is Darren Aronofsky’s Robocop. This is pretty significant, especially considering how much respect people have for Paul Verhoeven’s original. The reason why people are open to it, I think, is because at this point we trust Aronofsky to put his heart and soul into any movie he makes. He will not do something just for the paycheck, and he will not direct a movie if he doesn’t feel he can bring something worthwhile to the table.

Unfortunately, now it is beginning to seem more and more likely that he has actually left the project, and the reasons for said departure are becoming clear. As we heard last year, the Robocop remake was delayed and he started working on Black Swan. Now, according to Moviehole, Robocop is officially on hold due to creative differences:

“I’ve spoken with Phoenix Pictures [and] asked them about the status of ROBOCOP… they told me that the project is on hold. The problem is that Mary Parent, Chairperson of MGM, wants a 3D movie for the new ROBOCOP. But, as you know, Darren Aronofsky is a real artist and he’s not interested in gimmicks like, 3D, CGI, Filming digital, he wants to do everything as real (organic) as possible just like The Fountain“.

So it seems that Aronofsky refuses to buy into the 3-D hype, a stance that will probably win him quite a few supporters. But has he seen Avatar? James Cameron is clearly winning over audiences, but is he converting any of the doubters in the industry? I still don’t know that 3-D is right for a Robocop remake, but we seem to be headed for a world where every single blockbuster is released in 3-D whether we like it or not. What do you think, is Aronofsky right to walk away from the Robocop remake, or should he suck it up and give 3-D a chance?

  • 3-D is just a gimmick and a distraction.

  • AlexG

    my new hero! i hope more serious film artists reject this stupid hollywood(vitz?) gimmick, at least in live-action films.

  • I love AVATAR, but I don’t want 3D to become the norm. 4 or 5 3D event movies a year is cool by me, but I’m worried that it’s going to take over. I believe in Darren Aronofsky.

  • 3D would ruin a RoboCop film. Just rewatched the first one and it’s still brilliant. A remake doesn’t need a gimmick, especially in the hands of Aronofsky.

  • Nate

    Ya know, Avatar looked damn good, way better than I was expecting. However, it did not render 2D obsolete. Not every movie needs to be 3D. If directors don’t want to do 3D, especially those of Aronofsky’s caliber, then they shouldn’t be forced to do it. It’s probably just 3D growing pains right now. Hopefully everyone will figure it out eventually.

  • Mrespony

    Speaking of Avatar, I just read this article in the LA Times about all the conservative wingnuts getting upset with it’s apparent anti-American, pro-Eco Warrior message (if that’s how they want to interpret it) and that just warms my heart.


  • @Mrespony

    There is also a group complaining that Weaver’s character smokes.

    There is always gonna be a stupid group of people who complain about something ridiculous.

  • rjdelight

    The studio should understand what they’re getting when they hire a filmmaker like Darren Aronofsky. And 3D is only becoming the norm these days because you can charge more for tickets.

  • The Man

    I don’t mine 3-D I just don’t like paying extra for glasses

    I think digital will surpass film sooner rather than later.

    And CGI is the equivalent of adding sound and color to film. Anyone who says cgi has no place in film is a fucking moron. Doesn’t know what their talking about and should never speak of film again…

    I love this man’s films for the most part. And respect his position. I think we need purist to keep us honest. But I hate closed mined people. If you think the use of 3-d sucks than do something interesting with it. Don’t just write it off like it sucks and has no place in film. Because that’s bullshit some times it works. But like anything it can reach over kill.

  • Darren is the man! They should just let him make Robocop how he wants – we all know it would be much better than if a retard studio exec has their way.

  • DHE

    If Aronofsky were a real artist he wouldn’t even be remaking Robocop, which does not need to be remade.

  • The Man

    DHE I agree in away. This film doesn’t need to be remade. Love the first one so much.

  • I agree with the above comments, he is outright against anything other than straight film, yet, he wants the right to remake the studios property. So he understands and accepts the current economics around only branded properties getting green lite, but he is against current releasing methods to avoid pirating and revitalizing the film going experience? I agree 3D isn’t for every property but RoboCop seems like one that a 3D aspect would be cool. Its a f-ing half man / half robot walking down the street for Christsake!

  • Robot

    Regular 3D sucks. When I was watching Avatar I couldn’t even tell that it was 3D. IMAX 3D on the other hand kicks ass.

  • scoville

    I respect him for his decision, but I would like to see this new 3D tech used by a director who knows how to make a good film.

  • Henrik

    I loved Avatar, but Aronofsky is going to make the best movie if you let him decide what the movie is going to be himself. Fucking hollywood.

  • Brendan

    3D is only a gimmick if it’s used wrong. It’s a tool to be used by filmmakers. But like any other tool, like jump cuts, slo-mo or CGI, it can be misused.
    I suppose if Aronofsky isn’t comfortable with the technology, he should steer clear of it.
    Just curious, but the quote mentions The Fountain, like it’s some seminal work or something. But was it really that good? I think it got mixed reviews at best. I tried watching it, but I couldn’t get into it.

  • Henrik

    I bet after The Shining came out, there were directors who were forced to use a steady-cam by studios too. Ill trust the director to make the film, not the suits.

  • KeithTalent

    Agreed with Henrik, except for the loving Avatar bit.

    Fuck 3D and fuck Mary Parent.

  • Nick Robertson

    Fuck 3D.
    I loved Avatar but it’s obviously not for EVERY film. I hope that the non-3D films don’t become the equivalent of a black and white film. Like people go ‘yeah I’d like to see it but it’s in stupid black and white’
    It worries me when guys like Cameron and Lucas proclaim that digital and 3D are the future, fuck off – I’m happy with 35mm FILM.

  • I don’t understand the The Fountain issue in the comment either. It is fact that Darren was going to use more advanced special effects (CGI) in that film before Brad Pitt fucked him over and walked away. This force Darren to creatively find a different way to tell the story due to all the major funding leaving with Pitt. He then discovered the micro photography of powders, etc. suspended in oil to depict the interstellar parts of that film. They make it out that Darren has this big philosophical in camera mantra, not true.

  • Candy Castle

    Darren is a true artist. He will not eat sh*t from studio bosses.

  • “Fuck off – I’m happy with 35mm FILM.”


  • JY

    I think its ridiculous for The Man to say that Aronofsky is being closed minded. If 3D is a tool that he feels would detract from his vision, then it seems completely respectable for him to back away. He shouldn’t have to “do something interesting” with a technology he has no interest in exploring.

  • Nick Robertson

    RUS – that’s how people learn, man. You’ve gotta have a door close before you notice that the walls are only made of plaster and you can escape creatively.

    Robocop was a social commentary, an effective one. pumping it full of shit to just make sure 14 year old boys go see it is so dumb. No one wants to make films for men anymore. I remember Frank Darabont saying he’d written a fantastic script for something and an exec saying that it was the best script he’d ever read but couldn’t see how he could sell it to young women… Nutshell.

    Everything has to have a gimmick to open it up to slightly more of the market.
    Why bother approaching Aronofsky, have they not SEEN his previous work? Just heard The Wrestler was popular and gave him a call? Call Stephen Sommers, fellas – he’s more your man.

  • My point was to the actual source – I don’t think it is even accurate, due to the evidence I reported that contradicts what the quote said about The Fountain. The source is not Darren but someone talking about him and using his film The Fountain as evidence of his desire for in camera effects when in fact Darren would have made the film CGI heavy if his budget wasn’t gutted. Basically, I’m saying this source is bullshit and can’t be trusted.

    Everyone that keeps saying 3d is a gimmick are misguided. In the way it was use in Avatar (not being a device to throws things in the audience’ faces) it is no different than the choice Darren made to use a documentary style in the Wrestler. (budget dictated need I say – they had no money to do it any other way, literally following the actor into public locations) Both are ways to put the audience in the film and story. Need I remind everyone the camera has always been a device developed to duplicate our vision – our vision is in 3d!? Using this new type of 3d is no different than choosing a harsh filter, bleaching the film or inventing/using the vibrating cam like Darren did in Requiem for a Dream. Yes, Darren invented that gimmick. They are all just tools in a toolbox IT IS HOW YOU USE THEM THAT MAKES THEM GIMMICKY.

    Now, if the issue is in production and the constraints the 3d cameras dictate (they have dual lens and slightly more cumbersome, take more light) then that’s a horse of a different color.

  • Here is what I think really happened, Darren signed on for RoboCop because he needed a franchise/sure thing due to laying an egg with The Fountain. Check the dates, the news broke while he was in post on The Wrestler. The Wrestler becomes a hit, Darren regains his mojo, and the tables turned back in his favor. Hollywood is all about heat. 1. He decided he didn’t have to do RoboCop the way the studio wanted when he initially signed on, he might of changed the terms. 2. He got back his heat to get original material green lite., i.e., Black Swan.

    The quote above could just be a way to make someone else look at fault if Darren didn’t want to do RoboCop anymore.

  • bullet3

    Frankly, fuck Aronofsky. After all the bullshit empty stylistic camera techniques, editing, and visuals in his pretentious movies (except The Wrestler, which was great), to suddenly talk like he’s some kind of classic filmatist who refuses to use this new technology is ridiculously hypocritical on his part.

    Also, they really need to scrap this remake. Seriously, robocop is a perfect film, there is NOTHING to be improved upon. It’s like remaking the godfather or something, it’s a really shit idea.

  • Nick Robertson

    He’s on his fifth film and goes from strength. Requiem stayed with me for years. Debating opinion is fruitless but just so you know – you’re ass about.

    I agree with your second statement – It shouldn’t be remade.

    And there’s nothing wrong with flat out refusing to use modern technology, because ‘frankly’ it’s shit.

    the camera was developed to take a snap shot of time, not necessarily to see how we see. I like movies to be on my television or in the cinema 2D, simple as that.
    Avatar, while great, is Avatar. I don’t want Fargo in 3D. Don’t force a fucking airbrush into Michelangelo’s hand!

  • Just to clarify, this quote:

    “Darren Aronofsky is a real artist and he’s not interested in gimmicks like, 3D, CGI, Filming digital, he wants to do everything as real (organic) as possible just like The Fountain.”

    is someone paraphrasing what they supposedly heard Aronofsky said. I doubt Aronofsky would have actually said that himself. I think the general sense is just that he’s not interested in doing a 3D film himself. I’m not sure how he feels about digital video and CGI.

  • 3D is an optical effect created with lens, so is a long lens, a wide lens, a split diopter…

    In the CURRENT cinematic environment, saying you would never use 3d, or it is a gimmick, is the same as saying you would never use a 75mm lens it is a gimmick?!


  • Nick Robertson

    3D is 2 offset lenses.

    Let me tell ya, 3D is ridiculous on 99% of the films it is tacked on to.
    Why the fuck would you make an R rated movie about an executed police officer who is reborn to trick a man into crashing into a vat of toxic waste to melt and then be blown apart when a car crashes into him into a 3D film? Because it won’t be R, there’ll be no blood and Lewis will probably be a cute dog that humps another dog at some point. Aronofsky is right to leave and the world makes sense again.

    I’ll admit, Avatar really impressed me and I loved the 3D. But I don’t like that this shit is taking over every film. Orson Welles and Kubrick didn’t need 3D.

  • Derek

    Avatar was the first 3D movie, I had ever seen; and it was a great experience. I also saw the regular theatrical version. I’d have ta say that I enjoyed it better, when I watched the regular screening. I hope that they don’t start doing all flicks in 3D. Avatar was cool cause it was full of so much trippy eye candy and colors; but I don’t know about sitting through a gritty futuristic action drama that takes place in a broken down Detroit, in 3D; watching corny robotic limbs gettin tossed into the audience (from explosions). Let Darren do his fuckin thing.

  • Very cool! 3-D should remain at IMAX cinemas!

    Like HDTV it’s just a gimmick – after 5 minutes one just watches a movie were story counts!

  • Niklas

    Even after Avatar Im not so sure I like 3D. Its cool but I hate how the glasses dims everything, its like watching a movie while wearing sun glasses. I look forward to seeing Avatar on blu-ray for all the colors I probably missed in the theater.

  • MattSmithsky

    I kind of agree with the poster above that it is a bit ridiculous to hail Aronofsky as a classical-style filmmaker when the movies he broke out with (Pi and Requiem for a Dream) were both shot and edited in a very modern, stylistic, and some would say gimmicky sort of way. I have loved most all of his films, and at least respected The Fountain, but I would hardly call him out as being immune to modern techniques.

    I am, however, thrilled anytime a director has the stones to walk out because of creative differences on a big blockbuster like this. Especially in the situation that this would put him in, in a remake movie that would likely become a hit whether it was good or not, and give him more funding for his original projects like the position Steve Soderburgh and Chris Nolan are in now.

  • fuckingshit

    ***So it seems that Aronofsky refuses to buy into the 3-D hype, a stance that will probably win him quite a few supporters. But has he seen Avatar?***

    Mye question to you Sean is: Have YOU sean 3D?
    I’ve seen movies with 3D about 4 times, so i thought Avatar might impress me since i wasn’t very much experienced with it, but it didn’t, at all. The 3D was okey, but was not something i cared about throughout the movie, and i never got any real 3D moment, and could have easly done without it. Either my eyes have problem with 3D, or the 3D thing in movies, and especially in Avatar is overrated, and sucks. The movie wasn’t so well either, the visuals stopped getting impressing, and started getting boring about halway through the movie.

  • fuckingshit

    *Have you seen Avatar.

  • Thus far I have enjoyed the 3-D in Coraline and Avatar, which leads me to believe it can work for fantastical worlds but I’m not sure about using it in a straight-up action movie.

  • bullet3

    I don’t know, Avatar really has me convinced that it could be used smartly to enhance damn near any movie/genre. Think of the possibilities for horror movies/period pieces/noir for instance. When they stop using it as a cheap gimmick, think of the ways they could use that added depth to build atmosphere or play with the audiences perceptions. I think there’s a ton of untapped potential just waiting to be used.
    Avatar has thrown the gauntlet down in terms of how the tech should be used, now its time for others to pick up the ball and run with it.

  • fuckingshit

    But Aronofsky doesn’t want his movie to be 3D, and they should listen to him. He clearly doesn’t want to make the ”monthly Hollywood blockbuster with a whole bunch of CGI in it”, and i can understand why he doesn’t want that stain and reputation on his movie.
    I don’t like 3D myself, so i support him on this. He is the one directing it, and he should leave it if he doesn’t get his way, because this whole situation is clearly about money, something Aronofsky has proven he doesn’t care about at many times.

  • KYriakos

    Robocop 3d -Pg13 and Daren just does not go together.

    He did the right thing..
    He had his vision but Hollywood had other plans..
    Although some 3d elements in a R-18 movie …might have been interesting..
    A Robocop film full with 3d gimmicks is not the movie Daren nor us would like to see on the screen..

  • Nick Robertson

    Artistic integrity!

    I wish 3D would go the fuck away.

  • 3-D is good for CGI HEAVY movies. The Navi look far more real in 3-D then they do on a 40″ LCD in 1080p screen in 2-D. From what I’ve seen it adds little to practical locales, so if that’s what Aronofsky wants work with then 2-D makes alot more sense.

    I can’t deny that some of the “Gimmickry” of CGI is awesome. (Seriously, I’ve seen AVATAR twice & both times and my right eye flinched involuntarily when that gas canister shoots past the screen.)

    However, I don’t like the fact that 3-D trumps innovative shot composition & camera movement in favor of flinch gimmicks. I say, if a movie is over 50% CGI then 3-D will be awesome for it it. At any rate, I don’t think the use of 3-D should instantly mean a film lacks artistic integrity.

  • yoman

    I’d love to see Robocop in non-3D made by Aronofsky. 3D is aimed at mass market, so if they make Robocop in 3D they will also make sure that it gets no more than PG rating :-( There are so many crap movies out there, why do they insist on Robocop…..

  • really? I mean… 3D is becoming the norm? I think people are exaggerating. When I see a movie like, “There will be Blood” or something like that in 3D then I’d say there’s something wrong. MGM should’ve known what to expect from Aronofsky before hiring him … yeah… Daren should’ve known also that he was hired to do a BLOCKBUSTER, not the usual artsy movies he’s used to make, which I love, btw. I’m not against Robocop 3D at all, but for real, I don’t even give a sh!t. It’s going to be a FUN movie, and if you guys don’t like it in 3D, just go to the regular theater to see it. hehe.

  • royce

    Aronofsky is very overrated, the poster boy for cafe intellectuals who believe themselves to be true connoisseurs, when really Pi sucked, Requiem was monotonous, The Fountain would have made a better short, and the Wrestler was simply better than average.

    Secondly, 3-D is only a gimmick if the filmmakers make a crappy movie. Anything is a gimmick when you rely on it solely to carry a vehicle.

  • maccer

    this doesn’t even NEED a remake. How stupid are people? watch the original.

  • allaboutthemoney

    Its all about the money. People are getting dumb’er’ – so things become dumb’er’. It seals. It works.

    All about the money.

    Lets get dumb’er’ then everything will be great cause we suck. The ultimate solution to never complaining or feeling negative ever again.

    Thats the modern world.

    Avatar was kinda new (check LOTR), but nothing great. They used motion captured, ect. It was ok, average.