Satirical action movie RoboCop is known for its unique brand of humour — but even in the realms of sci-fi movies, it looks like there were some lines that director Paul Verhoeven refused to cross. In a new interview with The Guardian, celebrating the comedy movie’s 35th anniversary, Verhoeven revealed that an early draft of the script included RoboCop (Peter Weller) having an affair with on-screen partner, Anne (Nancy Allen).
“I originally thought Nancy Allen, who was playing RoboCop’s partner Anne, should have a secret affair with him – which was very Dutch of me,” Verhoeven explained. “Ed wrote a new draft, but it didn’t work. It felt so un-American. If you look at RoboCop’s costume, there’s not much there in terms of genitals anyway.”
Although I’m personally not exactly sure how exactly robo-penises relate to The American Dream, Verhoeven’s decision is, at least, understandable (sort of). If only Willard Huyck came to the same conclusion with his nightmare-inducing ’80s movie Howard the Duck. Maybe then I’d live a life of peace.
But while some… body parts weren’t deemed essential to the movie, there were others that Verhoeven wouldn’t budge on — like chins. “It was important [Robocop] had a good chin, though – it had to be really pronounced,” he explained. “Of course, acting was important, but I can’t deny Peter Weller’s chin was one of the main reasons he got the part.”
The director also revealed that a slim build for RoboCop was important given the costume — which, unfortunately, looked to be the reason why super-ripped Terminator star Arnold Schwarzenegger missed out on the role.
“We considered casting Arnold Schwarzenegger but thought he’d be too enormous once he got the costume on,” Verhoeven explained. “We realised we needed to have somebody slim so we could build a really powerful robo-suit.”
RoboCop will be screening once again across select UK theatres from May 20, 2022.