Director Neill Blomkamp has offered fans an update regarding Robocop Returns, promising the return of the iconic, original suit. Directed by Paul Verhoeven, the original RoboCop signaled a new direction for the sci-fi action genre when it hit theaters in the late 80s. Blending the usual hard-hitting action with cleverly infused social satire, the film was both generally well-reviewed and emerged as a cult hit with fans. Starring Peter Weller, RoboCop told the futuristic tale of Officer Alex J. Murphy (Weller), a police officer transferred to the most dangerous part of a crime-ridden Detroit, where he was quickly savaged and left for dead by crime boss Clarence Boddicker (Kurtwood Smith). Subsequently revived by the megacorporation Omni Consumer Products, Murphy is transformed into the cyborg law enforcer known as RoboCop.
The film spawned a pair of lesser sequels (the second starring Weller, who was replaced in the third by Robert John Burke) and a mildly successful reboot starring Joel Kinnaman, in 2014. Though a sequel was reportedly being considered, it was ultimately decided to go back to the original. Shortly afterward, it was announced that Blomkamp was working on a direct sequel to the first movie. Based on a previously unused RoboCop 2 draft from writers Michael Miner and Ed Neumeier, and rewritten by Justin Rhodes (Terminator: Dark Fate), Blomkamp previously revealed that his sequel would be R-rated.
Posting on his personal Twitter account, Blomkamp responded to a request for an update on the film from HN Entertainment's Nicholas Whitcomb. Blomkamp replied that the "script is being written" and that it was "going well". He also reiterated his previous comments that his sequel is as though Verhoeven himself was back in the director's chair. In a follow-up to that particular comment, a second fan inquired as to whether that meant the original suit would be back in place. Blomkamp insisted that it indeed would be, one million percent. Check out both tweets below:
Script is being written. Going well! Imagine watching Verhoeven do a follow up film https://t.co/QDp5T7cf5L— Neill Blomkamp (@NeillBlomkamp) June 29, 2019
Whether or not Blomkamp can thread the needle of different tones and genres as well as Verhoeven managed will remain unknown without any footage. He has, however, developed a pedigree when it comes to science-fiction, first breaking out with the widely praised and academy award-recognized District 9. Some may also recall that Blomkamp previously came close to making an Alien film sequel before the movie was canceled. Instead, his attention turned more directly to RoboCop.
Once again, reboots are in abundance. Equally, legacy sequels are all the rage, as established by the recent Halloween and the upcoming, aforementioned Terminator: Dark Fate. It's easy to see why: following years of disappointing sequels to various franchises, going back to the originals appears to be a popular and financially successful tactic. Especially based on the wave of nostalgia gripping entertainment at the moment. Unfortunately, unlike Jamie Lee Curtis and Linda Hamilton, Blomkamp's sequel looks set to be without the original star. Despite the director wanting to see Weller reprise the role, the actor reportedly turned down the opportunity. With the film still only being written, however, there is a chance that the director may be able to convince him. Either way, based on everything Blomkamp continues to tease, it would appear that he has an uncanny passion for the original. As such, fans might at least be safe in allowing themselves to be hopeful that RoboCop Returns could live up to its predecessor.
Robocop Returns has yet to receive an official release date.
Source: Neill Blomkamp/Twitter