|Original work||RoboCop (1987)|
|Films and television|
|Video game(s)||Full list|
|Theme park attractions||RoboCop: The Ride (1995–1998)|
RoboCop is an American superhero cyberpunk media franchise featuring the futuristic adventures of Alex Murphy, a Detroit, Michigan police officer, who is mortally wounded in the line of duty and transformed into a powerful cyborg, brand-named Robocop, at the behest of a powerful mega-corporation, Omni Consumer Products. Thus equipped, Murphy battles both violent crime in a severely decayed city and the blatantly corrupt machinations within OCP.
The franchise began in 1987 with the film RoboCop. RoboCop 2 followed in 1990, and RoboCop 3 in 1993. There have also been various television series, video game and comic book tie-ins. The franchise has made over US$100 million worldwide and a fourth installment, a remake serving as a reboot titled RoboCop, was released in February 2014.
- 1 Films
- 2 Television series
- 3 Cast and characters
- 4 Crew
- 5 Reception
- 6 Video games
- 7 Comic books
- 8 Music
- 9 Theme park ride
- 10 Statue
- 11 Recurring elements
- 12 References
RoboCop is a 1987 American cyberpunk action film directed by Paul Verhoeven. Set in a crime-ridden Detroit, Michigan in the near future, RoboCop centers on a police officer who is brutally murdered and subsequently re-created as a super-human cyborg known as "RoboCop". The film features Peter Weller, Dan O'Herlihy, Kurtwood Smith, Nancy Allen, Miguel Ferrer, and Ronny Cox.
In addition to being an action film, RoboCop includes larger themes regarding the media, resurrection, gentrification, corruption, privatization, capitalism, masculinity, and human nature. It received positive reviews and was cited as one of the best films of 1987, spawning a large franchise, including merchandise, two sequels, a television series, two animated TV series, and a television mini-series, video games and a number of comic book adaptations/crossovers. The film was produced for a relatively modest $13 million.
RoboCop 2 (1990)
RoboCop 2 is a 1990 cyberpunk action film directed by Irvin Kershner and starring Peter Weller, Nancy Allen, Dan O'Herlihy, Belinda Bauer, Tom Noonan and Gabriel Damon. It is the sequel to the 1987 film, and pits RoboCop against another cyborg created with the intention of replacing him.
RoboCop 3 (1993)
RoboCop 3 is a cyberpunk action film, released in 1993, set in the near future in a dystopian metropolitan Detroit, Michigan, and filmed in Atlanta, Georgia. Most of the buildings seen in the film were slated for demolition to make way for facilities for the 1996 Olympics. Nancy Allen as Anne Lewis, Robert DoQui as Sgt. Warren Reed, Felton Perry as Donald Johnson, Mario Machado as Newscaster Casey Wong and Angie Bolling as Ellen Murphy are the only cast members to appear in all three films. Robert John Burke replaces Peter Weller as RoboCop.
The film received very negative reviews from critics.
This is the first film in the RoboCop franchise to be rated PG-13.
A remake of the original film and a reboot of the franchise was released in early 2014. The film is directed by Brazilian filmmaker José Padilha and stars Joel Kinnaman in the title role. Gary Oldman and Samuel L. Jackson co-star in supporting roles. According to Kinnaman, the film is a reimagination of the original story, and bits and pieces cater to fans of the original film. In July 2012, a viral website for the fictional OmniCorp was opened to promote the film. Two months later in September, MGM and Columbia Pictures released the official film plot:
In "RoboCop", the year is 2028 and multinational conglomerate OmniCorp is at the center of robot technology. Their drones are winning wars around the globe and now they want to bring this technology to the home front. Alex Murphy (Kinnaman) is a loving husband, father and good cop doing his best to stem the tide of crime and corruption in Detroit. After he is critically injured in the line of duty, OmniCorp utilizes their remarkable science of robotics to save Alex’s life. He returns to the streets of his beloved city with amazing new abilities, but with issues a regular man has never had to face before.
This is the second film in the franchise to be rated PG-13.
RoboCop: The Series
RoboCop appears in RoboCop: The Series played by Richard Eden. The series takes place between the original film and Robocop 2, Murphy's mother and father were introduced. His father, Russell Murphy, was a devout police officer himself for many years until his retirement. He is responsible for instilling Murphy with his trademark sense of duty and dedication to law enforcement, even after his transformation into a cyborg. Throughout the series, Murphy finds himself teamed up with his father on a few cases that often saw them utilizing the elder Murphy's expertise in dealing with reappearing criminals he'd chased back before his retirement. Although his father was stern, it was clear Murphy's parents loved and cherished him even after his 'demise.' However at the end of the episode Corporate raiders, Russell Murphy finds out that it's his son under the RoboCop enhancements. Ellen (known as Nancy in the series for apparent copyright reasons) and Jimmy Murphy were recurring characters as well, often finding themselves crossing paths with Murphy by falling in inadvertently or intentionally with the criminal element to which Murphy interfered and protected them from harm. Despite his series partner Madigan's concerns to tell his family who he is, Murphy replied firmly, "No," as he felt doing so would hurt them even more. He commented that "they need a husband... and a father. I cannot be that. But I can protect them."
RoboCop: Prime Directives
RoboCop appears in RoboCop: Prime Directives played by Page Fletcher. The series takes place ten years after RoboCop 3, RoboCop has become outdated, tired, and quasi-suicidal. Delta City (formerly Detroit) is now considered the safest place on Earth, and he is no longer viewed as particularly necessary. The first half of the series focuses on Alex Murphy's former partner, John T. Cable, who is slain by RoboCop due to his system being hacked and being programmed to terminate Cable. Cable is then resurrected as a cyborg in most aspects identical to the RoboCop model, save for color and the addition of a second sidearm. "RoboCable" is sent to destroy RoboCop, but after several battles, Cable is convinced to join Murphy. Meanwhile, OCP (on the verge of bankruptcy) is taken over by a scheming executive, Damian Lowe, who manages to murder the entire board of directors. To bring OCP back, he plans to use an artificial intelligence called SAINT to automate the entire city. The second half of the series introduces Dr. David Kaydick, who plans to introduce a “bio-tech” virus (Legion) to wipe out not only Delta City but all life on the planet, infecting computers and people alike. He takes control of RoboCable by planting a chip in him that causes him pain or death, at Kaydick's discretion. RoboCop receives aid from a group of tech thieves led by Ann R. Key (Leslie Hope), who are determined to stop Kaydick, and RoboCop's own son, James – now fully grown and aware of his father's fate. RoboCop and his rag-tag band race to stop Kaydick from infiltrating OCP tower and activating SAINT, which would presumably kill almost all humans. During the confrontation, RoboCop and James reconcile with each other, and manage to rekindle RoboCable's previous personality. Ann. R. Key and Kaydick both die during a confrontation with each other. Utilizing James's EMP device, and having shut down RoboCop, RoboCable and LEGION are terminated. RoboCop gets rebooted without his previous OCP restriction programming (as well as restoring his identity as "Alex Murphy" as opposed to an OCP product number) or his prime directives. After viewing a goodbye message left by Cable, Murphy returns to active duty to stop the resultant crime in Delta City due to the EMP pulse blacking out the city.
RoboCop: The Animated Series
Based on the original film, the first RoboCop animated series features cyborg cop Alex Murphy (Robocop), who fights to save the city of Old Detroit from assorted rogue elements, and on occasion, fighting to reclaim aspects of his humanity and maintain his usefulness in the eyes of the "Old Man", Chairman of OCP. Many episodes see RoboCop's reputation put to the test or soured by interventions from Dr. McNamara, the creator of ED-260, the upgradable version of the Enforcement Droid Series 209 and the top competitor for the financial backing of OCP. He continually develops other mechanical menaces that threaten RoboCop. In the police force, RoboCop is befriended as always by Officer Anne Lewis, but is also picked on and lambasted by the prejudiced Lieutenant Roger Hedgecock (who appeared as a minor character in the original film and his first name revealed in Night of the Archer), ever determined to be rid of him and his kind, whom he sees as ticking time bombs. Their rivalry comes to a fever pitch during the episode "The Man in the Iron Suit", in which Hedgecock comes close to finally beating Murphy with the aid of a new weapons system developed by McNamara. He almost kills Lewis when she interferes, enraging Murphy into tearing Hedgecock's iron suit apart and nearly crushing his skull before Lewis emerges, alive and well. Robocop is maintained by Robocop Project director Dr. Tyler. He was voiced by Dan Hennessey.
RoboCop: Alpha Commando
RoboCop appears in RoboCop: Alpha Commando voiced by David Sobolov. The series is set in the year 2030 and follows on from the previous animated series. The series deals with RoboCop being reactivated after five years offline to assist a federal high-tech group, "Alpha Division" in their vigilance and struggle against DARC (Directorate for Anarchy, Revenge, and Chaos) a highly advanced terrorist organization and other forces of evil whenever that may be, globally or nationally. The series shared many of the same writers who had contributed to the 1980s animated series, but had even less in common with the films or television canon that it was based on, including the first animated series. RoboCop now has numerous gadgets in his body that were never in the film, such as roller skates and a parachute. The show also suffers from major continuity errors. In the first episodes we see RoboCop's son in his memories flashback and he appears to be around 10. We later see his son in the series, to be exactly the same age and even wearing the same clothing, as his memories. The absence of Anne Lewis was never explained. Besides RoboCop himself, Sgt. Reed is the only character from the films in the series. Unlike the films, and previous TV incarnations, RoboCop never takes off his helmet in Alpha Commando.
Cast and characters
|Character||Films||Animated series||Television series|
|RoboCop: The Animated Series
|RoboCop: Alpha Commando
|RoboCop: The Series
|RoboCop: Prime Directives
|Alex Murphy / RoboCop||Peter Weller||Robert John Burke||Joel Kinnaman||Dan Hennessey||David Sobolov||Richard Eden||Page Fletcher|
|Officer Anne Lewis||Nancy Allen||Michael K. Williams (as Jack Lewis)||Susan Roman||Yvette Nipar (as Lisa Madigan)|
|Sergeant Warren Reed||Robert DoQui||Blu Mankuma||Blu Mankuma (as Stan Parks)|
|Donald Johnson||Felton Perry|
|Casey Wong||Mario Machado|
|James Murphy||Jason Levine||Clinton Austin Shirley||John Paul Ruttan (as David Murphy)||Peter Costigan||Anthony Lemke|
|Ellen Murphy||Angie Bolling||Abbie Cornish (as Clara Murphy)||Jennifer Griffin (as Nancy Murphy)|
|The Old Man||Dan O'Herlihy||David Gardner (as The Chairman)|
|Bixby Snyder||S.D. Nemeth||S.D. Nemeth|
|RoboCop||Paul Verhoeven||Arne Schmidt||Edward Neumeier & Michael Miner||Basil Poledouris||Jost Vacano||Frank J. Urioste|
|RoboCop 2||Irvin Kershner||Jon Davison||screenplay: Frank Miller & Walon Green
story: Frank Miller
|Leonard Rosenman||Mark Irwin||Armen Minasian
|RoboCop 3||Fred Dekker||Patrick Crowley||screenplay: Frank Miller & Fred Dekker
story: Frank Miller
|Basil Poledouris||Gary B. Kibbe||Bert Lovitt|
|RoboCop||José Padilha||Marc Abraham
|Joshua Zetumer||Pedro Bronfman||Lula Carvalho||Daniel Rezende
Box office performance
|Film||Release date||Box office gross||Box office ranking||Budget||Reference|
|RoboCop||July 17, 1987||$53,424,681||N/A||$53,424,681||N/A||$13 million|||
|RoboCop 2||June 22, 1990||$45,681,173||N/A||$45,681,173||N/A||$35 million|||
|RoboCop 3||November 5, 1993||$10,696,210||N/A||$10,696,210||N/A||$22 million|||
|RoboCop||February, 2014||$58,607,007||$184,081,958||$242,688,965||N/A||$100 million|||
Critical and public reaction
|RoboCop||88% (57 reviews)||67 (16 reviews)||A-|
|RoboCop 2||32% (34 reviews)||N/A||B-|
|RoboCop 3||3% (30 reviews)||N/A||B+|
|RoboCop||49% (195 reviews)||52 (41 reviews)||B+|
Various licensed video games for various arcade and home console systems were released:
- RoboCop (1988–1989)
- RoboCop 2 (1990–1991)
- RoboCop 3 (1993)
- RoboCop 3D (1993)
- RoboCop Versus The Terminator (1993–1994)
- RoboCop (2003)
In 1990, Data East released a pinball machine based on the film.
Various publishers have released RoboCop comic books:
- RoboCop (Marvel Comics, 1990–1992) – 23 issues, plus adaptations of the first two films.
- RoboCop versus The Terminator (Dark Horse Comics, 1992) which was also a video game and almost a film.
- RoboCop (Dark Horse Comics, 1992–1994), 13 issues; consisted of three mini-series (four issues each), plus adaptation of RoboCop 3
- RoboCop (Avatar Press, 2003–2006) – 11 issues; consisted of a nine-issue series and two one-shot comics.
- RoboCop (Dynamite Entertainment, 2009–2013) – 14 issues; consisted of a six-issue series and two four-issue series.
- RoboCop (Boom! Studios, 2013–) – 34 issues as of February 2016, including a reprint of Avatar's nine-issue series.
- Montreal hard rock band Priestess' song from their 2009 album Prior to the Fire, "Murphy's Law," was written about the film RoboCop, which is singer Mikey Hepner's favorite film.
- Thrash Metal band Gama Bomb have a song entitled OCP, which features lyrics composed entirely of quotes from the first film.
- Massachusetts-based Thrash Metal group Lich King's album World Gone Dead features a track entitled ED-209, which includes dialogue from the first film.
- The 1988 UK Acid House compilation North – the Sound of the Dance Underground included the track Acid to Ecstasy by ED209, featuring samples from the first film.
- The rapper Silver Bullet released the track 20 Seconds to Comply in 1989 including samples of ED-209 from the first film.
Theme park ride
SimEx-iWerks (formerly iWerks Entertainment) opened RoboCop: The Ride around the world at its various iWerks Motion Simulator Theaters, amusement parks, and casinos in the winter of 1995. The "Turbo Ride," as it was termed, was a Motion simulator "ride" attraction which could accommodate between 20 and 30 guests, and featured an oversized screen displaying the projection placed in front of synchronized hydraulically-activated seats. The attraction was a mixture of motion picture film and computer animation, lasting approximately 4:00 minutes. The cost in the United States was $5.00 at pay-per-ride theaters. The attraction focused on the guest partnering with RoboCop, riding specialized police motorcycles on a mission to save the mayor of Detroit from "Cyberpunk ROM" and his gang. In the latter part of the attraction, the motorcycle would then convert into "hover mode" and simulate flying through the skyline of New Detroit. Though not as impressive or technical-savvy as other iWerks attractions at the time, the attraction was very popular amongst children and teenagers and especially in foreign markets outside of North America. The attraction was removed from the iWerks theaters in the North American market in 1998.
In February 2011, there was a humorous ploy asking Detroit Mayor Dave Bing if there was to be a RoboCop statue in his 'New Detroit' proposal, which is planned to turn Detroit back into a prosperous city again. When the Mayor said there was no such plan, and word of this reached the internet, there were several fund-raising events to raise enough money for the statue which would be built at the Imagination Station. It is yet to be seen if a statue will actually be built, but it is reported that over $50,000 has already been raised on the Internet.
Omni Consumer Products
|Corporation and laboratory|
|Founder||The "Old Man"|
|Headquarters||Detroit and Delta City, Michigan|
Urban Pacification Tools
Military grade weaponry
Omni Consumer Products (OCP) is a fictional corporatocratic megacorporation in the RoboCop franchise. It creates products for virtually every consumer need, has entered into endeavors normally deemed non-profit, and even manufactured an entire city to be maintained exclusively by the corporation. OCP is a modern example of the longstanding trope of the evil megacorporation in science fiction.
OCP is depicted as a megacorporation with divisions affecting nearly every level of consumer need, society, and government. Their products range from consumer products to military weaponry and private space travel. They are also the true main antagonists of every RoboCop film. Their projects included RoboCop, the ED-209, and the RoboCop 2 cyborg. OCP owns and operates a privatized Detroit Police Department and have been known to employ criminals to achieve their goals.
OCP, throughout its depictions in the RoboCop films, has sought to fully privatize a dystopian Detroit, Michigan, into "Delta City", a manufactured municipality governed by a corporatocracy, with fully privatized services — such as police — and with residents exercising their representative citizenship through the purchase of shares of OCP stock. They also serve as part of the military–industrial complex; according to OCP executive Richard "Dick" Jones, "We practically are the military." Jones observes in RoboCop that OCP has "gambled in markets traditionally regarded as non-profit: hospitals, prisons, space exploration. I say good business is where you find it."
In RoboCop 3, OCP is bought by a Japanese Zaibatsu, the Kanemitsu corporation. As a Kanemitsu subsidiary, OCP remains in charge of the destruction of old Detroit and the construction of Delta City. By the end of the film, OCP's brutal policies concerning Delta City are brought to light, many of OCP's majority shareholders sell their stock, and OCP itself is forced into bankruptcy.
By the time of RoboCop: Prime Directives, OCP is shown being manipulated by a brash young executive who, through murder and reallocation of resources, ascends to power to automate Delta City under a new artificial intelligence. This is manipulated by a cyberterrorist, who seeks the destruction of the human race through a virus that can be introduced to computers and human beings alike.
For the 2014 remake, "OmniCorp" is a division of OCP, with the slogan "We've Got the Future Under Control." Led by CEO Raymond Sellars, OmniCorp is a leading manufacturer of military solutions worldwide, with their robots maintaining peace in hostile environments. However, due to the Dreyfus Act, which prohibits the use of robots for law enforcement, OmniCorp has been unable to penetrate the American market. Sellars plans to circumnavigate the bill by placing the body parts of critically injured Detroit Police officer Alex Murphy into a robotic suit.
|Created by||Ed Neumeier
|Voiced by||Jon Davison|
|Manufacturer||Omni Consumer Products|
The Enforcement Droid Series 209, or ED-209 (pronounced Ed Two Oh Nine), is a fictional robot in the RoboCop franchise. The ED-209 serves as a heavily armed obstacle and foil for the series' titular character, as well as a source of comic relief due to its lack of intelligence and tendency towards clumsy malfunctions. For instance, during a boardroom demonstration by Dick Jones of ED-209's "disarm and arrest" procedure with a board executive named Kinney as the test subject, in which Kinney is given a pistol and told to point it at ED-209, ED-209 fails to recognize that Kinney has dropped his weapon and blasts him to death in over-the-top fashion with its automatic cannons. Later, it is shown that ED-209 cannot climb or descend stairs as it tumbles trying to chase RoboCop.
The ED-209 was designed by Craig Davies, who also built the full-size models, and animated by Phil Tippett, a veteran stop-motion animator. Davies and Tippett would go on to collaborate on many more projects. As one of the setpieces of the film, the ED-209's look and animated sequences were under the close supervision of director Paul Verhoeven, who sometimes acted out the robot's movements himself.
The ED-209 is featured in every RoboCop major motion picture, while it is missing from the series’ direct-to-video releases and the television series (although an ED with a different model number is present).
In July 2012, a redesigned ED-209 was revealed in the OmniCorp viral website. The new ED-209 is slimmer in design and more heavily armed than the original version. Unlike the original version, this ED-209 is programmed not to fire at unarmed persons.
In popular culture
- The ED-209 robot was satirized in the Simpsons episode "I, D'oh-bot" as a robot belonging to Professor Frink and his son named 'Smashius Clay' (or 'Killhammad Aieee', referring to Muhammad Ali's birth name and boxing name).
- In the Family Guy episode "Running Mates," an ED-209 robot is used as a school hall monitor, opening fire on anyone not presenting a hall pass; if someone does present one, it fires anyway.
- In StarCraft, the Terran Goliath unit shares many design similarities with ED-209, being both bipedal and armed with an automatic cannon and missiles. Repeatedly clicking the unit will cause the pilot to say "Mil-spec ED-209 on." Similarly, if a Protoss Dragoon unit is clicked repeatedly, it will issue a warning beep and say, "Drop your weapon! You have 15 seconds to comply." and will then count down before playing a phaser sound effect.
- In the South Park episode, "Korn's Groovy Pirate Ghost Mystery", the character Kenny wears an ED-209 costume for a Halloween costume contest.
- In Might and Magic III: Isles of Terra, a robotic enemy is named ED-409, as a parody reference.
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- RoboCop 2 (1990)
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- RoboCop 3 (1993)
- RoboCop: Prime Directives (2000)