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Peter Weller talk RoboCop Returns
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Posted: Thu May 23, 2019 7:23 pm Reply with quote

This was the video I was talking about guys. Excellent posts BTW. Food for thought on both accounts.

Weller looks like he's falling asleep in the first few minutes. Very Happy Nancy seems a little nervous at parts - though maybe I'm reading way too much into it and she just doesn't feel at her most comfortable in that kind of stage setting.

It's an excellent video BTW. So many iconic people from the franchise on the stage with Verhoeven really shining. Such a big personality I'm actually surprised he never acted.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amDg_H4MZMM

Will add as well that what an incredible actor Felton Perry is. He plays the nervous, bookish Johnson character brilliantly - and that kind of character is obviously a world apart from who he is in real life.




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Posted: Thu May 23, 2019 7:51 pm Reply with quote

I understand both sides of this sentiment / discussion.

On the one hand, it's always awesome when actors, or entertainers in general, are kind to fans and act lighthearted at conventions and other sort of meetings, Weller as a fun, fan-loving goofball that wouldn't mind putting on the RoboCop helmet and doing "the voice" anytime he's in public would be hella sweet.

On the other hand, actors/entertainers are technically not obliged to keep a positive standing with anyone, he doesn't owe us anything. If Weller views everything RoboCop-related as purely business related, by all means he can do so.

Does all the "money money money!!" take the fun out of things? Absolutely. Can Weller do whatever as long as he doesn't break laws and assault fans? Absolutely.




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Posted: Thu May 23, 2019 8:43 pm Reply with quote

Maxlee :
I understand both sides of this sentiment / discussion.

On the one hand, it's always awesome when actors, or entertainers in general, are kind to fans and act lighthearted at conventions and other sort of meetings, Weller as a fun, fan-loving goofball that wouldn't mind putting on the RoboCop helmet and doing "the voice" anytime he's in public would be hella sweet.

On the other hand, actors/entertainers are technically not obliged to keep a positive standing with anyone, he doesn't owe us anything. If Weller views everything RoboCop-related as purely business related, by all means he can do so.

Does all the "money money money!!" take the fun out of things? Absolutely. Can Weller do whatever as long as he doesn't break laws and assault fans? Absolutely.


It's true. He doesn't owe us anything. We pay money to watch a movie in the cinema, buy a movie in a shop, buy merchandise etc...he has provided that service for a fee. If you politely ask him to sign an autograph or pose for a selfie if you were to spot him on the street - he'd do it. You might well get "Yeah okay but hurry it up cos I need to pick the Wife up from the store" Lol. I have no doubt about that. I certainly didn't mean to seem negative about the guy. Love him. He's just an incredibly interesting character. How diligent and disciplined do you have to be to not do RoboDoc when literally every other person involved in the franchise has done it. Very Happy If I'm in that situation, my heart strings get pulled and I end up doing it anyway. Not Weller though - literally completely consistent with his attitude. No shaking or changing his opinion. Haha.

Though he's frustrated with his Wife taking forever to say goodbye to her friends and paparazzi flashing cameras in his face - he still has time for a laugh and joke. Very Happy And this would probably be what an encouter with Weller would be like.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kvLYWWpSA0&t=16s




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Posted: Fri May 24, 2019 12:59 am Reply with quote

I think it's fair to observe that there's no law against being a jerk. I would even mildly defend Weller by noting that Weller became a science fiction star in the late 80s whereas the DOCTOR WHO actors were fairly isolated in England, the NEXT GENERATION actors had observed the ORIGINAL SERIES actors and learned from their mistakes.

Fan-engaged stars like the cast of SUPERNATURAL and DOCTOR WHO actively make a living from revisiting what's often one specific role and have refined that to a specific craft. Weller, in contrast, earns whatever he does from RoboCop in a fairly passive fashion and may be out of step with fan culture outside of the royalty fees he receives.

However, in the spirit of obsessive psychoanalysis, I contemplate NukeLord's question:

NukeLord :
. Money orientated which at 72 years old I don't really understand - because when you're already a multi-millionaire, someone who would never have to worry about money...and you're closer to the end door than the front door...what's the point??


Well, it's possible that Weller has debts to pay off. But Spectrum Scarlet opens the door to another possibility:

Spectrum Scarlet :
No actor wants to be known for a part where only his jawline is visible for 90% of the time. He played the part exceptionally, but was wholly unsuitable for others. He's an odd, weird, eccentric performer, with a voice that alternates between a booming cowboy and a neurotic mental patient. He can't handle nor is equipped for certain roles, and that's bothered him I think over the years. They've unfortunately been failures and not the box-office hits he assumed they would be; assuming meaning out of this ego he has.


What if Spectrum Scarlet is correct? What if Weller is perpetually unhappy about his lack of box office success and his limitations as an actor? His inability to play a wide range of roles due to his peculiar voice and bizarre body language? And the fact that he could be replaced in his most iconic role because only the jawline and some vocal reverberation is required?

And what if Weller depends on making large amounts of money to offset his insecurity? He is unable to feel successful in the fashion that he wants, so he repeatedly refers to money because it's the only area of his acting career where he feels like he's done really well having failed to become a mainstream leading man outside of the one movie that was well-received in 1987.

(I don't actually know this for a fact. I've seen Weller pop up a lot in TV shows as a guest-star and he's always great; I'm not an expert in his film career.)[/quote]




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Posted: Fri May 24, 2019 1:57 am Reply with quote

ireactions :
I think it's fair to observe that there's no law against being a jerk. I would even mildly defend Weller by noting that Weller became a science fiction star in the late 80s whereas the DOCTOR WHO actors were fairly isolated in England, the NEXT GENERATION actors had observed the ORIGINAL SERIES actors and learned from their mistakes.

Fan-engaged stars like the cast of SUPERNATURAL and DOCTOR WHO actively make a living from revisiting what's often one specific role and have refined that to a specific craft. Weller, in contrast, earns whatever he does from RoboCop in a fairly passive fashion and may be out of step with fan culture outside of the royalty fees he receives.

However, in the spirit of obsessive psychoanalysis, I contemplate NukeLord's question:

NukeLord :
. Money orientated which at 72 years old I don't really understand - because when you're already a multi-millionaire, someone who would never have to worry about money...and you're closer to the end door than the front door...what's the point??


Well, it's possible that Weller has debts to pay off. But Spectrum Scarlet opens the door to another possibility:

Spectrum Scarlet :
No actor wants to be known for a part where only his jawline is visible for 90% of the time. He played the part exceptionally, but was wholly unsuitable for others. He's an odd, weird, eccentric performer, with a voice that alternates between a booming cowboy and a neurotic mental patient. He can't handle nor is equipped for certain roles, and that's bothered him I think over the years. They've unfortunately been failures and not the box-office hits he assumed they would be; assuming meaning out of this ego he has.


What if Spectrum Scarlet is correct? What if Weller is perpetually unhappy about his lack of box office success and his limitations as an actor? His inability to play a wide range of roles due to his peculiar voice and bizarre body language? And the fact that he could be replaced in his most iconic role because only the jawline and some vocal reverberation is required?

And what if Weller depends on making large amounts of money to offset his insecurity? He is unable to feel successful in the fashion that he wants, so he repeatedly refers to money because it's the only area of his acting career where he feels like he's done really well having failed to become a mainstream leading man outside of the one movie that was well-received in 1987.

(I don't actually know this for a fact. I've seen Weller pop up a lot in TV shows as a guest-star and he's always great; I'm not an expert in his film career.)
[/quote]

I think you're right. As you quite rightly say, it is conjecture but he is an intelligent man - one who obviously has high expectations of himself. I would guess that, yes, he probably feels he hasn't hit every marker he wanted to hit as an actor. I remember reading an interview with him when he did state that he became tired of constantly being asked about RoboCop in the early 90's. Though not as famous as Arnie, I do believe he is to RoboCop what Arnie is to the Terminator. I can't watch anything he's in without thinking of RoboCop. I mean we're all "fans" but I think it's probably even more significant from non-fans - because then it's "that's that RoboCop guy!". The role definitely type-cast him somewhat. Though so it did with Arnie, after 1991's T2 and 1994's True Lies...Arnie never really made another great iconic movie again. He's still type cast as the Terminator till this day.

Watched the new Terminator trailer today. Can't help but sigh and think we've seen it all before, though I had higher expectations for it as Cameron is back as rights holder and producer. It's interesting as it's screenwriter Justin Rhodes has been working on the new RoboCop sequel. If it is decent, it may give us a window of what we can expect from the new Robo movie.




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Posted: Fri May 24, 2019 3:00 am Reply with quote

I just want to thank NukeLord for the video clips and Spectrum Scarlet for the brilliant description of Peter Weller's voice as alternating between a booming cowboy and a neurotic mental patient. That wording instantly summons to mind the offbeat monotone from ROBOCOP and FRINGE and ENTERPRISE and INTO DARKNESS.

I wonder if Spectrum Scarlet would write a novelization for ROBOCOP RETURNS assuming the movie is ever made.




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Posted: Sat May 25, 2019 1:57 pm Reply with quote

I guess we people tend to romanticize these jobs. We see these movies as art, a bigger influence or the biggest part of your life. Weller is an actor, and an actor gets some big bucks for doing his part. It could be seen as "greedy", but I kinda understand his point. He could handle on a different way, for sure. Previous Batmen like Keaton or the deceased Adam West embraced the character and even joked about it (Keaton usually declares he´s Batman in interviews or events); West struggled to be anything else than Batman and he was kinda bitter for not having the chance to showcase his talents on different roles. He ended accepting he was the character for some generations and earned a buck or two on Cons.

A lot of actors try to act on promotions or events as they care for the role, but c´mon. I doubt Harrison Ford is happy to be asked about Star Wars, Indiana Jones or Blade Runner over and over (Ford seems like a bad example, as it seems he isn´t happy most of the time tongue). Also, as fans, we usually think it´s kinda easy to reach these people. I work on a small scifi magazine and it´s almost impossible to get actors for the specials I do. There are some exceptions, but there´s a lot of factors. If you´re on an indie project and not a big one, forget it. Some actors even have a fan-mail which they use, but if you try to get in touch with them they´ll send you to their agents. So, if RoboDoc was a MGM production, I think he´d return to talk about it, as they´d bring him cash or a some legal contract to force him to talk about the character.

Movies are a big business, and even with some geek celebrities who can enjoy their success on a beloved property, actors and crew usually move on.

PD: As for the video of Weller VS. Paparazzi, how did he won´t be a little upset when people taking pictures keep calling him "Murphy" and saying "I´m not arresting you anymore"?




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Posted: Sat May 25, 2019 4:29 pm Reply with quote

I genuinely do not feel that Peter Weller is greedy. ROBOCOP earns hundreds of millions of dollars; everything Weller gets from that, he worked hard to get.

I just think it is discourteous, inappropriate and flat out rude to bring money into interacting with the fans when the cheques are large, plentiful, clear the bank and when the fans have paid for admission to be in the room with him. At that point, the focus should be on giving the fans a good experience.

I don't even think it's greed that makes Weller bring up money; it's the fact that he's unhappy and embarrassed and ashamed that his most memorable role was, as Spectrum Scarlet put it, "where only his jawline is visible for 90% of the time" and he was easily replaced by stand-ins and sound editing. He brings up money, not because he's greedy, but because he's insecure and thinks that talking about how much money he makes will draw attention away from how he's, apart from RoboCop, not a big star. It seems to bother him.

My feeling towards that is that not everyone needs to be a big star. A happy life can sometimes feature grand, widescreen success, but life can also be happy when successes are small and intimate and incremental. My mentor -- one of the writers of PRIME DIRECTIVES -- never became a huge writing star. His most well-known project (PRIME DIRECTIVES) went direct to bargain bin video, he has never gotten a staff job on a TV show, he never started his own special effects company, he never got his comic book series off the ground and PRIME DIRECTIVES is currently one of the most-mocked and loathed ROBOCOP products ever made.

I quite like it, I will defend it -- but I completely concede everyone else here thinks it's crap and I will never (again) tell someone they're wrong to dislike a piece of art.

My mentor did, however, write and sell a number of feature scripts that sold, continue to earn money from overseas sales on PRIME DIRECTIVES, direct a small indie movie, contribute to a web series, marry a wonderful person and film editor, produce a delightful daughter and build a happy and meaningful life for himself. The fact that he's mostly known for the one project (and which isn't well-liked here) and the fact that he earns a decent living -- those are just small aspects of a much richer and fuller existence.

And if you wanted to talk to him about ROBOCOP PRIME DIRECTIVES today, (I think) he would be happy to discuss his experience. If you wanted to mock it and trash it, he would (probably) laugh with you about it and tell you about things that drove him crazy about the project, but he would (perhaps) also ask you to bear in mind that PRIME DIRECTIVES was made on the same financial model as syndicated TV shows like HERCULES, XENA, ANDROMEDA, MUTANT X and other silly action hour type TV shows of the late-90s/early 2000s.

He most definitely would not brag about the money he's earned off of ROBOCOP PRIME DIRECTIVES except in terms of expressing gratitude and appreciation. Every time he talked about money with me, it was not to show off, it was to say how lucky and fortunate he'd been for PRIME DIRECTIVES; the earnings gave him tremendous opportunity and stability. And I wish Peter Weller would do the same especially when most Robo-fans actually liked Weller's work.




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Posted: Sat May 25, 2019 6:26 pm Reply with quote

Weller comes off as brusque and harsh for sure but again I think it's also mostly deserved as well. I disagree with whoever said Weller wasn't a good actor - He always performed pretty well in the other things I saw him in. I believe he scarcely had any good chance to stretch his performance legs much outside of RoboCop. So that leaves him seeming like a 'one-trick pony' and no actor - especially one who wants to keep working - wants to be typecast.

I also have to say I have long thought - and still do - with Weller it always to me seemed like the acting was, maybe not a sideline but something he certainly divided his passion with all his history work and whatnot, which he clearly enjoys and is into. Don't get me wrong, Weller is a very disciplined actor and individual as pretty much everyone who's worked with him will say, but it should also be noted that kind of discipline does not come easy and with anyone else who has such level of discipline in, well anything, that can and often does make one seem cold and detached from the 'human' aspect of things.

Eh just yabbering a bit, much of this we've gone over before over the years and I don't think much has really changed. I am glad Weller can have a bit more fun with the role now but still seems very much now as before a love/hate relationship. This before factoring the money side of it, which I agree with most here that while his mannerism could be a tad better he is well in his rights to be stodgy there.
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Posted: Sat May 25, 2019 6:27 pm Reply with quote

ireactions, hey are you by chance a blast from the past that used to visit the board during the PD years?

Robo:PD gets a lot of crap, but then there are fans who are equally critical towards Robo2 or ANYTHING that is not the first movie. For all it's fault i don't think the writing is the worst part. I still believe that PD would have made a really good comic title.

Anyway, just recently having seen the new Terminator trailer i have a sinking feeling this kind of type of movie is doomed and that no matter how they make "RoboCop Returns" it's not gonna be fell received by fans.




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Posted: Sat May 25, 2019 6:32 pm Reply with quote

Archive :
ireactions, hey are you by chance a blast from the past that used to visit the board during the PD years?

I myself have a feeling he is - I remember noting this before when he made his post in the PD topic. I could be wrong, but, come on. tongue

Archive :
Anyway, just recently having seen the new Terminator trailer i have a sinking feeling this kind of type of movie is doomed and that no matter how they make "RoboCop Returns" it's not gonna be fell received by fans.

Hate to say this but frankly my hopes are too diminishing as time goes, mainly due to seeing things like the trailer for Dark Fate. Without going way into it I have to say aside from Hamilton the whole thing just felt like some artificial action shitpile with Terminator-y stuff in it that did not feel like Terminator at all. I'm with you in that I fear the same for any new Robo film, even despite all the best efforts to avoid it. As always we'll see but eh.
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Posted: Sat May 25, 2019 8:34 pm Reply with quote

ireactions :
And if you wanted to talk to him about ROBOCOP PRIME DIRECTIVES today, (I think) he would be happy to discuss his experience.


Your mentor is happy to talk about PD. I interviewed him tongue Not to be off-topic but it doesn´t deserve all the crap it usually have; and from all the Robo-verse, the PD crew is the most approachable people to talk (hell, your mentor´s partner in the miniseries works on my magazine). Not sure if the miniseries became a big success and they earned a bigger reputation they´d be fun to reach. The more popular, the more difficult to get them. Who knows! They´re happy for being part of the franchise, and as a fan I can understand them (even if the miniseries didn´t turn out excellent).

ireactions :
I genuinely do not feel that Peter Weller is greedy. ROBOCOP earns hundreds of millions of dollars; everything Weller gets from that, he worked hard to get.


Well, if not greedy, he became tired of RoboCop. It´s hard to understand on a fan level, as we´re still talking about his portray more than 30 years before, but as a working actor I could understand why he could be that way. Specially when people tend to ignore anything else he´s been. Take an example from Bill Murray, he was a dick about Ghostbusters as well, and Venkman probably is one of his most well known characters.

Stan The Man :
That leaves him seeming like a 'one-trick pony' and no actor - especially one who wants to keep working - wants to be typecast.


Aha.

Stan The Man :
I am glad Weller can have a bit more fun with the role now but still seems very much now as before a love/hate relationship.


Yes. At least he´s talking about the character again. In recent events he praises the film and watched it recently as well. A miracle.




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Posted: Sun May 26, 2019 5:07 am Reply with quote

Archive :
ireactions, hey are you by chance a blast from the past that used to visit the board during the PD years?

Robo:PD gets a lot of crap, but then there are fans who are equally critical towards Robo2 or ANYTHING that is not the first movie. For all it's fault i don't think the writing is the worst part. I still believe that PD would have made a really good comic title.


It's obviously me. I mean, who else would have anything positive to say about PRIME DIRECTIVES? Haha!

I actually haven't watched PRIME DIRECTIVES in some time, but when I watched it in the 2000s, I was watching it on an old cathode ray tube TV in 4:3 and I saw it on a weekend while also watching shows like XENA, EARTH: FINAL CONFLICT, CLEOPATRA 2525, Pamela Anderson's VIP and other low budget fantasy productions that are visually and aesthetically a distant world away from the big budget production of the original ROBOCOP.

Also, to be quite frank, I was 15 and not able to analyze visual storytelling. Effects and sets didn't register to me as much as characters and emotions and even today, I enjoy watching productions like 70s DOCTOR WHO episodes because even though the actors may be claiming a painted soda can is advanced technology, the force of the performance is compelling even if the visuals aren't convincing.

I enjoyed PRIME DIRECTIVES in the era it was made and at the time I saw it. I should probably watch it again and do a re-review. But regardless, it would be wonderful for ROBOCOP RETURNS to return to the franchise's roots as a feature film of lavish detail and expense and state of the art filmmaking. In the 2000s, TV was less like film and still in the process of moving away from being a form of highly technical stage theatre.




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Posted: Mon May 27, 2019 12:24 am Reply with quote

ireactions :
Archive :
ireactions, hey are you by chance a blast from the past that used to visit the board during the PD years?

Robo:PD gets a lot of crap, but then there are fans who are equally critical towards Robo2 or ANYTHING that is not the first movie. For all it's fault i don't think the writing is the worst part. I still believe that PD would have made a really good comic title.


It's obviously me. I mean, who else would have anything positive to say about PRIME DIRECTIVES? Haha!

I actually haven't watched PRIME DIRECTIVES in some time, but when I watched it in the 2000s, I was watching it on an old cathode ray tube TV in 4:3 and I saw it on a weekend while also watching shows like XENA, EARTH: FINAL CONFLICT, CLEOPATRA 2525, Pamela Anderson's VIP and other low budget fantasy productions that are visually and aesthetically a distant world away from the big budget production of the original ROBOCOP.

Also, to be quite frank, I was 15 and not able to analyze visual storytelling. Effects and sets didn't register to me as much as characters and emotions and even today, I enjoy watching productions like 70s DOCTOR WHO episodes because even though the actors may be claiming a painted soda can is advanced technology, the force of the performance is compelling even if the visuals aren't convincing.

I enjoyed PRIME DIRECTIVES in the era it was made and at the time I saw it. I should probably watch it again and do a re-review. But regardless, it would be wonderful for ROBOCOP RETURNS to return to the franchise's roots as a feature film of lavish detail and expense and state of the art filmmaking. In the 2000s, TV was less like film and still in the process of moving away from being a form of highly technical stage theatre.


Joseph O'Brien and Brad Abraham? To be fair they were good to this community forum almost 20 years ago. Would go out of their way to answer questions. It a was a good enough story and I still think they're good writers and I appreciated them taking the time to do so. The script wasn't filmed, directed or cast very well, definitely not in how they would've interpreted it. Sorry Julian Grant, but not good enough. Things always seemed stretched over 8 hours. It was always what could be written in 90 mins, extended to 8 hours. Therein lied the problem, which was no fault of their own. They did the best they could. I'll always most definitely respect that.




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