1. The screenplay for RoboCop had been offered to, and been rejected by, virtually every big director working in Hollywood before landing on Paul Verhoeven's desk. He read the synopsis and threw it away convinced it was just another dumb action movie. However, his wife just happened to pick it up and found herself engrossed in the script, reading it all the way through. She convinced him that the story was layered and had many satirical and allegorical elements, after which Verhoeven decided to direct the film.
2. When casting Officer Alex J Murphy, a shortlist of potential actors was put together, amongst the names in consideration were Lance Henrickson and Arnold Schwarzenegger. We'll get to Henrickson later, but as for Arnie - it was decided that he was literally too big for the role. Not in success or anything, but in body size! The producers felt that if a robo-suit was built to hold Arnold’s massive muscular body then he would end up looking like a "live-action version of the Michelin Man".
3. Talking of that suit. The whole movie had a budget of just $13million, approximately $1million of that was spent on building the seven RoboCop suits needed for the shoot.
4. The production team wasn't satisfied with the initial design for the RoboCop suit, and kept changing it and putting additions to it for months. Ultimately, nothing seemed to work and they went back to what was pretty much the first design presented to them. This caused considerable delays, and by the time the suit was completed it was three weeks after the movie had begun principal photography, arriving at the studio on the day that the first RoboCop scene was scheduled to be shot.
5. Peter Weller had never been inside the full suit until that day. He'd spent weeks rehearsing with a mime coach to successfully portray how a robot-cop would move, but he found all his practice useless as the suit was so restrictive. Production was halted for three days so he could "learn to walk again".
6. It could take up to 11 hours to fit Peter Weller inside the full RoboCop suit, and once inside it was so hot he was losing up to 3lbs a day just from water loss.
7. Not surprisingly Peter Weller complained about being in the suit....a lot. At this time the producers considered recasting the role and allegedly one executive put a call in to Lance Henrickson to see if he'd be available. He wasn't, he was already attached to another project. So to please their star, and help with his weight loss, air conditioning units were installed inside the full RoboCop suits.
8. Not only was the suit very heavy and difficult to walk in, but it was also impossible to sit down in properly. Look carefully and you'll never see RoboCop fully get into or out of a car, it always cuts at the doorway. So every time you see RoboCop driving, Peter Weller is actually just wearing the top half of the suit and a pair of boxer shorts.
9. The one short scene were RoboCop catches a set of car keys took an entire day to film. The hands were made from foam rubber and were so clumsy, combined with his vision restricted it meant that Peter Weller found it impossible to catch the keys. It took over 50 takes before he finally caught them, and used up an entire days worth of filming.
10. The classic scene were Officer Murphy is killed was initially not going to be included. Production was way over schedule, budgets had been spent and shooting had wrapped, but realising just how important it would be Paul Verhoeven and producer Jon Davidson approached Orion Pictures with a request for more money. They agreed and so the scene was quickly filmed in an abandoned Los Angeles warehouse.
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