EXCLUSIVE: Edward Neumeier Talks RoboCop and Starship Troopers Remakes
Yesterday, I had the chance to speak with screenwriter/producer Edward Neumeier for the animated follow-up Starship Troopers: Invasion, currently available on Blu-ray and DVD. He wrote the original Starship Troopers back in 1997, and when I asked if he is involved in the Starship Troopers remake, he said he is on board as executive producer. But that certainly doesn't mean much.
"I am technically an executive producer, which means they never have to talk to me again. I've talked to them a couple of times. I would say that's a few years off, probably three. My only thing to them was, 'Hey, it's a great place to go play. My recommendation is to send your writers on a little field trip and let them experience actual military culture, so they are writing about one of the reasons why people like Starship Troopers.' My producer, Jon Davison, who did Robocop also, always used to say to me, 'You have to make sure your core audience is looked after. If you lose them, you can't ever get anybody else.' That is very smart, commercial thinking. I would say you better make sure you're making a movie that the military guys and those who like the military will like. There's a gym, in Afghanistan, whether you like it or not, called the Johnny Rico Starship Troopers Crossfit Gym. It has an enormous picture of Casper Van Dien holding a Marita on a battlefield, from Starship 1. I grew up in the most liberal places, and my policies are probably as liberal as anyone, and, in many ways, I think there is a warrior culture that is about us, that we enjoy. Even if we don't become soldiers, we play with it in our minds. I think that's a healthy thing to do, even for a savage species such as our own."
"No, they don't have anything to do with me, man. Sometimes, it's a good thing, and sometimes you wish you could say, 'No, don't!' I don't know. I've gotten used to it, because it's happened to me ever since RoboCop. 'Hey, thanks a lot, now get the f*&k out of here.' Or, 'It's our way or the highway.' Or, 'There's a strike, you're out.' All those things happen. You see what other people have done with the material, and it's actually kind of interesting, after awhile. One of the most interesting variations on it is District 9. I met one of the art directors on District 9, and he said, 'All we talked about on District 9 was RoboCop.' It was a muse for them, and when I watched it, I felt a deep sense of collective satisfaction. Neill Blomkamp is such a talented guy, you know, and he's played with these things I played with and he clearly has a little bit of Paul Verhoeven injected in him somewhere. It's satisfying to understand yourself as being a part of that process."