Film and TV

RoboCop Versus Reality: Looking at Dallas Locations of the Film's Scenes

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Brian Maschino and Danny Gallagher
Director Paul Verhoeven only had around $12 million in funding from Orion Pictures to shoot RoboCop. He originally wanted to make the crime-riddled city of Old Detroit look like something out of a Blade Runner spinoff but he says his producer Jon Davison gave his an ultimatum.

"The excellent producer Jon Davison said, 'We can make the backgrounds fantastic in the direction of Blade Runner, but we can't have the costume, so what do you want? The costume or the background?"

Thankfully, Verhoeven chose to focus the spending on RoboCop's hardware because if he had gone the other way, the crew might not have filmed the movie in Dallas. Pretty much the entire movie except for the final battle scene in the steel mill that was shot in Pittsburgh, Penn. was filmed around the Dallas area. The iconic city skyline and buildings not only gave Verhoeven the perfect mix of a futuristic world and a gritty, crime-infested metropolis but it was also a town where, according to screenwriter Michael Miner, "at 3 a.m., you could shoot off some blanks there and blow up an old part of town."

We pulled some stills from some of the movie's key scenes and revisited them today to see what they look like now 30 years after the film's release.

Photos from RoboCop, 1987 and recent Dallas photos by Brian Maschino and Danny Gallagher