Posted by: Kath Usitalo | March 7, 2011

RoboCop: New Guy In Town

Once upon a time, before Michigan offered tax incentives to entice film producers to the Great Lakes State, Hollywood came knocking on Detroit’s door and got it slammed in its face.

It was in the mid-1980s and the story was titled RoboCop, about a cyborg Detroit police officer in a city run amok. The Chamber of Commerce booster types didn’t like the movie’s portrayal of the city so the filmmakers took their production dollars to locations in Pennsylvania and Dallas and called them Detroit.

The other states got the jobs, and whattya know—Detroit’s image showed no improvement because the movie wasn’t actually filmed here.

Two dozen years after the movie was released a new community of local boosters is trying to make the most of RoboCop’s Detroit roots.

It started as a tweet from “a random dude in Massachusetts” to Detroit Mayor Dave Bing:

Philadelphia has a statue of Rocky & Robocop would kick Rocky’s butt. He’s a GREAT ambassador for Detroit.

Mayor Bing tweeted back: There are not any plans to erect a statue to Robocop. Thank you for the suggestion.

That  exchange sparked a movement that has raised enough support and $64,000 in donations to build a monument billed as “Part Man, Part Machine, All Crowd Funded.”

(RoboCop fan site photo)

Read up on the project at, where you can also donate to the cause.

Peter Weller, the star of RoboCop, has come out in support of the statue with a video.

Click here to check it out.

I’m not sure that tourists will head to Detroit to see a likeness of RoboCop any more than folks flock to Philly just to admire Rocky, or head to Milwaukee for a photo with The Fonz statue.
But really, can it hurt to add Officer Murphy to the streetscape?
The descriptive plaque on the sculpture could quote the movie: “There’s a new guy in town. His name is RoboCop.”



  1. The best thing that came out of the whole RoboCop statue thing was something that started as a Twitter conversation that ended up as a #Robocharity movement to benefit Detroit’s Forgotten Harvest food rescue organization. Online donors quickly raised enough $$$ to fund 15,000 meals for Forgotten Harvest, and I saw that the actor who played RoboCop, Peter Weller, filmed a short PSA to support #robocharity – just posted to Forgotten Harvest’s Facebook page within the last hour 🙂
    Check out the whole story at or at Forgotten Harvest’s Facebook Page, RoboCharity Facebook page or the #robocharity hash tag on Twitter.

    • Thanks for that info!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: