Sign In

Nancy Allen on Irvin Kirshner

Author
Time

"Allen came on for Robocop 2 because it was going to be directed by Tim Hunter, who also helmed River's Edge. 'I loved the script,' which was written by Frank Miller (Sin City), and Walon Green (The Wild Bunch). Hunter left the project and was then replaced by The Empire Strikes Back helmer Irvin Kirshner, who Allen called 'the most miserable human being that ever walked planet earth. I found out later that he didn't want me to return for the role. He then ruined the script, taking the heart and soul out of it. Robocop 2 was missing everything that made the first film wonderful.'"

http://www.tgdaily.com/games-and-entertainment-features/61907-robocop-yesterday-and-tomorrow

It's too bad. He seemed so nice. :(

Author
Time

She seemed so nice...  Is there a script of the pre-Kirshner version?  Has she explained it any further.  Here's a bit of the story:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RoboCop_2

However, Miller's script was labeled "unfilmable" by producers and studio executives. His script was heavily changed through rewrites, and drastically re-written into what became RoboCop 2. *OMIT*  His original screenplay for RoboCop 2 took on an almost "urban legend" status, and was later turned into a nine-part comic book series called Frank Miller's RoboCop. Critical reaction to the comic adaptation of the Miller script were mixed to negative.

Author
Time

I've always been interested in Robocop 2 development, but there isn't a lot out there. I will agree with her that Kershner did a shitty job on that film, which surprised me because the thing was written by Frank Miller, who seemed a perfect match to the violent-comic-book style of the original, but then the script was shitty too. I guess Kersh had different ideas of the film (although he's on record stating he was a fan of the original, so I dunno what happened there). Her comments are a bit vague though, I'd like to know more details about why she feels that way. Still, nice to have honesty. 

The Secret History of Star Wars -- now available on Amazon.com!

"When George went back and put new creatures into the original Star Wars, I find that disturbing. It’s a revision of history. That bothers me."

--James Cameron, Entertainment Weekly, April 2010

Author
Time

She waited over twenty years to speak her mind? Easy to kick a guy when he's dead!

After the whole Jake Lloyd thing, I'll take this one with a big old block of salt. ;)

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

Author
Time

I thought I heard that she and peter weller didn't like how the story was overwhelmingly negative and the violence was out of control (always was an interesting debate in 1990 - which movie was more violent, total recall or robocop 2) but this is the first I heard of kershner being the reason why the script was so off-putting.

click here if lack of OOT got you down

Author
Time

I vaguely remember Kim Basinger saying something similar about Never Say Never Again. Both those movies are such blatant paycheck gigs with weird script problems (it has to be basically the same as Thunderball? The hell?), for an artsy guy in his 60s it's easy to imagine him just being a cranky old man in that situation.

Author
Time

NSNA was essentially a remake of Thunderball, and they really couldn't deviate from that too much for legal reasons.

Movie sets are not always some happy family gathering, and tensions do spill over, sometimes at the wrong people. There are probably things that happened on the Empire set even Alan Arnold's excellent book smoothes over.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

Author
Time

Frank Miller is like George Lucas:  One of those guys that did a few groundbreaking projects early on, began believing their own hype about being a "visionary genius", and from then on produced only self-indulgent crap that no one liked.

Robocops 2 & 3 were crap from the minute Frank Miller put pen to paper.

Author
Time

evan1975 said:


Frank Miller is like George Lucas:  One of those guys that did a few groundbreaking projects early on, began believing their own hype about being a "visionary genius", and from then on produced only self-indulgent crap that no one liked.


LOL ... this.

TRANSMODERNISM > POSTMODERNISM > MODERNISM > PREMODERNISM

Author
Time

I really liked Robocop 2, it's problems are the really awful and dated CGI Max Headroom head and it's story is too similar to Robocop 1. 

Maybe that was down to the changes Nancy was complaining about, it's not unusual on a high profile sequel for the Director to get messages from on high insisting on making huge chunks of the film practically the same as the first one, I can imagine that generally miffing Kersh.

I loved the Jackie Chan style abrupt ending and the opening 'crime baton passing' sequence is brilliant.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6Dp2OfIT_M

Author
Time

(far memory)

Was it in that film that Robo shot a a guy's cigaret because it was not good for health ? Hahaha !

 

Author
Time
 (Edited)

Probably. There is a section where Robocop is programmed to only do good deeds or something like that. Honestly this film is a mess, and the only thing good is the really cool stop-motion effects by Phil Tippet. The last 20 minutes are worth watching the film, but only barely. I know Robocop 3 got lots of criticism, and to be fair I haven't watched either of these in like ten years, but from my memory I (surprisingly, because I heard it was awful) enjoyed the third film more than the second. Prior to that my only exposure to Robocop 3 was the Genesis/SNES game, which was not that good (the Robocop arcade game was cool from what I remember, but it never got ported). I remember Robocop 2 came out the same time as Terminator 2 and there were lots of knock offs too, so you had all these pseudo-heroic robot-killers sequels that vaguely appealed to children despite their R-rating from about 1989-1991.

The Secret History of Star Wars -- now available on Amazon.com!

"When George went back and put new creatures into the original Star Wars, I find that disturbing. It’s a revision of history. That bothers me."

--James Cameron, Entertainment Weekly, April 2010

Author
Time
 (Edited)

Those kind of films (R 2) I watch only once, I will forget and won't never see it again. I borrowed the 3 DVDs to a friend last year only to watch the 1st. I have never seen the 3rd, and see no point dreaming it could be good.

You can feel the 1st one is unique. No need to insist... It said it all. ;)

 

Author
Time

Did Robocop 3 ever see a wide release? I saw bootlegs of it at comic cons for a while. I had the impression it sat unreleased, and eventually went to video.

I found it amusing Robocop would later spawn a cartoon series and a toy line.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

Author
Time

SilverWook said:

I found it amusing Robocop would later spawn a cartoon series and a toy line.

He actually got two cartoon shows and I think some kind of Marvel animated special or something. As well as a live action one.

Robocop 3 is one of the worst films of all time. 

Help finish ROTJ: Revisited!

Author
Time

I knew about the syndicated live action show, and a Canadian(?) miniseries that aired on SciFi without much fanfare, but didn't know about the other animated versions.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

Author
Time

Looked it up and there were just the two animated series. I got confused because I used to own a VHS tape that just had a single episode on it. But it was still good stuff. I don't remember much about the second animated series but it's supposed to be really bad. I hope the remake they have coming out next year is good.

Help finish ROTJ: Revisited!

Author
Time

Five bucks that the studio mandates a PG-13 cut. ;)

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

Author
Time

none said:

She seemed so nice...  Is there a script of the pre-Kirshner version?  Has she explained it any further.  Here's a bit of the story:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RoboCop_2

However, Miller's script was labeled "unfilmable" by producers and studio executives. His script was heavily changed through rewrites, and drastically re-written into what became RoboCop 2. *OMIT*  His original screenplay for RoboCop 2 took on an almost "urban legend" status, and was later turned into a nine-part comic book series called Frank Miller's RoboCop. Critical reaction to the comic adaptation of the Miller script were mixed to negative.

She might still be nice. Kirshner made a cracking film in TESB but to do so all the planets need to be alligned, you need a bit of luck etc.

Same with Lucas, before TPM came out people loved him, no-one could wait for the prequels. Now 10 years down the line he's looked upon in very different terms.

 

Author
Time

Am I the only one who read the title of this thread and thought it was about a porno?  I think I need therapy.

 Spoiler free for the ST

Author
Time

Jeez guys, learn to spell Kershner's name right. He directed The Empire Strikes Back for crying out loud! LOL

RoboCop 2 sucked and Kershner directed it so if the story is true, I'd believe her. I agree about the elements she was talking about and RoboCop really took a bad turn there but then again, I don't know what direction would be the best. I think TESB was a great collaborative effort from everyone which made it so great. Kershner may have been a good director in it but having seen Never Say Never Again and RoboCop 2 I wouldn't say he's that great.

They showed the RoboCop trilogy here for the first time in over 10 years on TV here recently. I've seen the first film once or twice and I love it. RoboCop was one of the coolest things in 90s when growing up, I remember the NES game and all, good times.

And in the time of greatest despair, there shall come a savior, and he shall be known as the Son of the Suns.

Author
Time

LexX said:

RoboCop was one of the coolest things in 90s when growing up, I remember the NES game and all, good times.

90s? You're older than you think.

The film was released 1987, the arcade game 1988 and the Spectrum version in 1989.

Guidelines for post content and general behaviour: read announcement here

Max. allowable image sizes in signatures: reminder here

Author
Time

Moth3r said:

LexX said:

RoboCop was one of the coolest things in 90s when growing up, I remember the NES game and all, good times.

90s? You're older than you think.

The film was released 1987, the arcade game 1988 and the Spectrum version in 1989.

Well, yeah, but we still played the games and it was a cool character in the early 90s. I was born in 1987 so I'm not THAT old. I also had a large RoboCop knock-off figure, otherwise I wasn't that into it and hadn't seen the movie but it reminds me of kindergarten times, LOL.

And in the time of greatest despair, there shall come a savior, and he shall be known as the Son of the Suns.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

LexX said:

Moth3r said:

LexX said:

RoboCop was one of the coolest things in 90s when growing up, I remember the NES game and all, good times.

90s? You're older than you think.

The film was released 1987, the arcade game 1988 and the Spectrum version in 1989.

Well, yeah, but we still played the games and it was a cool character in the early 90s. I was born in 1987 so I'm not THAT old. I also had a large RoboCop knock-off figure, otherwise I wasn't that into it and hadn't seen the movie but it reminds me of kindergarten times, LOL.

 So, you didn't witness the cultural shock this film's issue was... ;)

... And that BLOWING (<edit: I mean awesome) THX mix in theatres...!

I've never heard something that good these last 20 years. And we call that "progress" !

 

Author
Time

XyZ said:

LexX said:

Moth3r said:

LexX said:

RoboCop was one of the coolest things in 90s when growing up, I remember the NES game and all, good times.

90s? You're older than you think.

The film was released 1987, the arcade game 1988 and the Spectrum version in 1989.

Well, yeah, but we still played the games and it was a cool character in the early 90s. I was born in 1987 so I'm not THAT old. I also had a large RoboCop knock-off figure, otherwise I wasn't that into it and hadn't seen the movie but it reminds me of kindergarten times, LOL.

 So, you didn't witness the cultural shock this film's issue was... ;)

... And that BLOWING THX mix in theatres...!

I've never heard something that good these last 20 years. And we call that "progress" !

Yes, I have missed all my favorite films in the theatre, that is sad. I envy those who have seen all those films which are now considered almost classics. I wish I had experiences like that. But hey, at least I'm younger! ;)

And in the time of greatest despair, there shall come a savior, and he shall be known as the Son of the Suns.