Relatively soon a RoboCop statue will stand somewhere in Detroit. According to the Detroit News, a model of the character from the 1987 film is in the process of being scanned for the bronze treatment. Pigeons will perch atop a golden visage of the cybernetic cop, oblivious to its conception as something associated with Detroit that’s worth heralding.
Apparently this all started via the kind of tweeting that isn’t birdlike. The Detroit News’ Holly Fournier writes: “What began with a February 2011 tweet to Detroit Mayor Dave Bing quickly erupted into a successful online fundraising campaign. Organizers raised their goal of $50,000 within six days.”
That amount of fundraising in six days is impressive; that the fundraising was to get a statue made of a fictional character is more so. One could certainly say that the money might have gone to better causes, but since the Detroit News article indicates that the potential locations for the statue include private options, I suppose it highlights the fact that this statue is no public venture. It’s mostly going to exist because some people with a bit of capital think it would be cool. It’s interesting to imagine a world with more statues of fictional characters whom are admired or idolized, but I digress–strangely enough, RoboCop may actually be a fitting statue for Detroit and places like it.
Once a well-adjusted cop and family man, Alex Murphy was brutally gunned down by criminals in “Old Detroit.” Pronounced dead, Murphy is claimed as property thanks to a loophole of his employment with a privatized police department; he’s the best candidate for OCP’s RoboCop program. Subsequently transformed into a cyborg removed from much of his old body/life, ‘RoboCop’ proceeds to tirelessly clean up “Old Detroit” via the action movie way his creators envisioned. Murphy, however, eventually discovers that the criminals responsible for his death have ties to OCP, and, in going against the one prime directive he has that directly contradicts any sense of fairness, reclaims some semblance of his humanity. I think the natural evolution of the character from the first film was such that, by the end, he’s not the heartless machine who would clean up and eventually clear out Old Detroit to make way for the new, private haven that OCP wanted.
As Detroit struggles to revitalize itself, a statue of a character with that kind of arc could speak to more than just — “Hey look, it’s RoboCop. Isn’t that cool?”