Like any other movie, the RoboCop 2014 screenplay went through many changes before the writers nailed the version depicted in the movie. In the particular case of RoboCop 2014, all these changes eventually triggered several arguments between Sony / MGM and director José Padilha. The studios of course were trying to make a more action driven and less cerebral / political film while Padilha was striving to put most of his ideas onscreen.
Fortunately the movie ended up including a fair dose of social and political commentaries thanks to José Padilha’s persistence, even though a handful of ideas had to be scrapped as referenced in an early screenplay leaked sometime during the film’s production in 2013.
The screenplay in question is an old Joshua Zetumer draft with revisions by Nick Schenk dated January 2012 (download it here).
Among the many different scenes one in particular caught my attention:
The RoboCop unveil at the police HQ:
It depicts an emotionless Alex Murphy meeting his son for the very first time after his transformation. Alex coldly greets David who speaks to a reporter: “he’s not my father”, in front of the whole crowd. That triggers panic among the Omnicorp crew making Norton temporarily opening the modules blocking the emotional area of Murphy’s brain. Murphy, now emotive and realizing what he just did starts to cry. His crying is caught on cameras sensitizing the audience, making them cheer up and clap hands. Omnicorp crew in the control room celebrates seeing that their objective has been accomplished: Making the public acknowledge RoboCop as a human being and not a robot.
In the movie it’s the other way around: Robo identifies the thief in the audience and shoots him. People applaud him, not for showing humanity, but for showing efficiency.
Another interesting aspect is Clara’s struggle against Omnicorp: It is much more intense as she faces a great deal of misery trying to stay close to her husband while Omnicorp is doing his best to forbid her. Her struggle is almost as severe as Murphy’s adaptation to his new life, causing Lewis to look after them and ultimately start an accidental affair with Clara.
These are only a couple of changes. There's much more. Click here and download the full RoboCop 2014 early screenplay.