But we did also talk about Robocop, for a minute. A very intriguing minute…
Padhila and I had been discussing the subject of police corruption and its portrayal in the Elite Squad films, when I asked how much of a presence these themes would have in Robocop.
To hear Padhila tell it, the answer is “not much.” He reiterated comments that he’s already made elsewhere, that he considers the story to be about
a man being turned into a product by a corporation.
Which the original certainly was… at the same time as at least touching on police corruption.
Padhila seems to see the plight of Robocop as the way into an ethical discussion. He told me that the story’s set-up “creates a host of ethical issues. There are lots of questions that have not been answered.”
But it’s not just abstract. Padhila went on to root his concept in something very real for me:
Wars in the future are going to be fought with drones. We won’t send a plane with a pilot in, it will be drone. It’s getting that way now and ten years from now that’s how wars are going to be fought.
But what if a drone goes wrong – who is to blame then? Do you blame the drone?
And that problem asks if you can you consider a robot guilty of a crime. Or is it the corporation that made the robot that is guilty?
There’s definitely a rich seam to be mined there.
Perhaps the best clue to Padhila’s specific intent for the film’s story was locked in his final comment on the matter:
How do you fight back against drones when you don’t have drones?