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The Director of RoboCop Explains Why the Love Affair Plot Was Cut

According to Paul Verhoeven, he contemplated a love story between RoboCop and Officer Lewis, but decided against it for a very particular reason

The 1987 action picture about a futuristic police officer turned cyborg was a big smash for Verhoeven, and it was the first time the Dutch filmmaker was seen by American viewers. Verhoeven hasn't returned to the property since the first film's premiere, despite two further sequels, a TV series, and a 2014 revival.

Verhoeven, on the other hand, proceeded to take on Hollywood in his own unique style. After directing Arnold Schwarzenegger in the hit Total Recall, the filmmaker shocked viewers with Basic Instinct in the late 1980s. Verhoeven returned to focusing on the romantic thriller in the later picture, a genre that wasn't unheard of in America at the time but had earned him a reputation in Europe. The film's blatant sex scenes sparked outrage in the United States, but one sequence in particular, featuring a police questioning of Sharon Stone's Catherine Tramell character, has gone down in cinematic history. Stone has claimed in subsequent years that she was duped into doing the sequence, which Verhoeven rejects.


Whether it's because of violence or sex, Verhoeven has always been the type of director who can stir up controversy. At the same time, even his most contentious films include a certain level of sarcastically humorous comedy. RoboCop's intrinsic silliness may have been amplified even more if Verhoeven had stuck to his original plan of adding a love connection between RoboCop and his police partner Anne Lewis (Nancy Allen). Verhoeven disregarded his initial desire for the love affair while speaking with The Guardian recently about RoboCop's long influence, calling it "very Dutch of me":

"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. 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."

Given that Verhoeven also notes that the RoboCop suit was so heavy and unwieldy that Peter Weller (who portrayed the titular crime fighter) had to relearn how to walk in it, a romantic aspect to RoboCop wasn't the greatest idea. As amusing as the idea of RoboCop having a love affair is, Verhoeven may have saved the movie by leaving it out. RoboCop's future aspects necessitate a certain level of suspension of disbelief, which isn't difficult to do. However, watching a cyborg cop fall in love with a fellow officer seemed to have been enough to throw the entire storyline into disarray.

RoboCop's tongue-in-cheek comedy may be too much for today's audiences to believe, but that's to be expected 35 years after its debut. The reality is that Verhoeven came in America at a time when there was still enough of contentious material to be explored. It's difficult to say if a cyborg having a love affair with a fellow cop would have sparked outrage or laughter, but given the mechanics of such a relationship, the subplot would have likely served primarily as comedy relief.

Source: The Guardian

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