Peter Weller will reportedly not reprise his most iconic role for Neill Blomkamp’s upcoming sequel RoboCop Returns. While actor Michael Ironside was strongly considered for the part, Weller eventually nabbed the title role in Paul Verhoeven’s sci-fi action movie RoboCop. The story follows a slain police officer who is resurrected by a corporation and put to work cleaning up Detroit – often in quite bloody ways. The movie is essentially a sci-fi take on Frankenstein’s Monster and is a perfect mix of action, satire and even drama.
Sadly, the franchise never hit the same heights again. Weller returned for RoboCop 2, and while the follow-up has a few great scenes, the focus on excessive violence and the lack of Paul Verhoeven’s guidance made for a disappointing sequel. In an unwise attempt to appeal to younger viewers, RoboCop 3 went for a PG-13 rating, and Weller stepped away from the role. The watered-down satire and violence of the third movie, combined with a poor script, outright killed the series. A big-budget remake was released in 2014, but inspite of an impressive cast – Michael Keaton, Gary Oldman, Samuel L. Jackson – it was still lumbered with a PG-13 rating and lacked the wit and intelligence of the original.
Earlier this year it was announced Neill Blomkamp (District 9) would helm RoboCop Returns, which would act as a direct follow-up to the 1987 original only. The script is based off a rejected draft for RoboCop 2, and the director himself confirmed Peter Weller was his perfect choice for the lead role. Sadly, it seems that won’t come to pass, as Super Bro Movies reports Weller’s representatives have confirmed the actor isn’t interested in reprising the part.
The last few years have seen a number of actors reprising iconic characters for belated sequels, including Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween and Linda Hamilton in Terminator 6. These entries also ignore lesser loved sequels in their respective franchises and go back to basics. While it would be great to see Weller reprise the part, it's worth bearing in mind the actor is now 71. Playing the role was physically taxing for him when he was in his 40’s, so even if he loves the script for RoboCop Returns, he may not want to face the challenge of working in the suit again.
Still, maybe Blomkamp will somehow win the actor around. Freddy Krueger star Robert Englund – also 71 – has been ruling out a return to the Nightmare On Elm Street series for years based on his age and the roles' physical demands. Following his recent cameo as Freddy in The Goldbergs, however, he seems much more receptive to a new movie, so perhaps Weller could be similarly convinced for RoboCop Returns.
Source: Super Bro Movies