No, this is not a joke. This is 100% true. The Motor City will soon be home to a giant bronze version of RoboCop. The statue will be emplaced in front of the Michigan Science Center in Detroit. Later this summer, everyone will be able to come pay their respects to the fictional Detroit Police Officer Alex J. Murphy. Imagination Station, the community arts nonprofit group who have worked to make the statue a reality for the past 7 years, made the announcement earlier this week.
First of all, it is important to note that this colossus will be in the likeness of the original film, not the 2014 reboot. The original 1987 Paul Verhoeven version was a classic. The reboot was not. Both versions took place in a near-future version of Detroit. However, the original was set in a much darker and more dystopian future. RoboCop himself matched this 80s sci-fi aesthetic. It was beautiful. Hence, this is the version that deserves a statue. Luckily, this is what we got. Check out this incredibly unnecessary beauty:
But… Why RoboCop?
While this project might seem odd to some, it’s actually more well thought-through than you’d think.
According to the President and CEO of the Michigan Science Center:
At the Science Center, we aim to inspire curious minds of all ages with science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and we think RoboCop will remind us of the power of STEM and the resurgence of Detroit.
In a lot of ways, this statue is Detroit’s answer to Philadelphia’s Rocky statue. Both are fictional film characters who embody the spirit of their respective cities. While RoboCop is more dystopian and political than Rocky, the reasoning is the same. They’re both well-known popular culture symbols. They’re reminders of their cities’ values and history. Plus, everyone loves when a movie takes place their hometown. It’s a point of pride. Apparently, Detroiters are so proud that they crowd funded a massive RoboCop.
From this perspective, it makes a lot sense. Detroit is currently undergoing a sort of renaissance. The imagery of a man being brought back from the dead through industry and technology is, therefore, very appropriate. In addition, the statue will be especially perfect at the Michigan Science Center. It’s an ideal place for a pop culture icon like RoboCop. There, he can serve as a familiar symbol of Detroit’s values and history to different generations. Furthermore, it’s just a damn fine piece of art.
What other cities could or should erect statues of fictional characters like RoboCop and Rocky? Brooklyn already has a Captain America statue. Maybe Chicago should build a giant Ferris Bueller statue. Perhaps Los Angeles could erect a 20-foot-tall Rick Deckard. Or Albuquerque could have their own enormous Heisenberg.
What other cities and movies deserve statues? Would you want to see one in your hometown? Sound off in the comments!