Does the world need another RoboCop reboot? MGM believes so, as the studio has hired District 9, Elysium, and Chappie helmer Neill Blomkamp to direct a new film titled RoboCop Returns, according to Deadline.
The franchise began in 1987 with the Paul Verhoeven-directed RoboCop, starring Peter Weller. The actor would reprise the role in the Irvin Kershner-directed sequel in 1990, but he was replaced by Robert John Burke for director Fred Dekker’s RoboCop 3 (1993). The franchise was then rebooted by Sony Pictures with 2014’s RoboCop, directed by José Padilha and starring Joel Kinnaman in the title role. That film earned $242.7 million worldwide, but only $58.6 million of that came from North America.
The site says that original writers Ed Neumeier and Michael Miner are producing and executive producing, respectively. Justin Rhodes, who co-wrote the Terminator movie that Tim Miller is now directing, will rewrite the script that Neumeier and Miner wrote years ago as a planned sequel to Verhoeven’s original film.
The new film is described as follows: “Anarchy reigns and the fate of Detroit hangs in the balance as RoboCop makes his triumphant return to fight crime and corruption.”
“The original definitely had a massive effect on me as a kid,” Blomkamp told Deadline. “I loved it then and it remains a classic in the end of 20th Century sci-fi catalog, with real meaning under the surface. Hopefully that is something we can get closer to in making of a sequel. That is my goal here. What I connected to as a kid has evolved over time. At first, the consumerism, materialism and Reaganomics, that ’80s theme of America on steroids, came through most strongly. But As I’ve gotten older, the part that really resonated with me is identity, and the search for identity. As long as the human component is there, a good story can work in any time period, it’s not locked into a specific place in history. What’s so cool about RoboCop is that like good Westerns, sci-fi films and dramas, the human connection is really important to a story well told. What draws me now is someone searching for their lost identity, taken away at the hands of people who are benefiting from it, and seeing his memory jogged by events. That is most captivating. The other thing I am excited by is the chance to work again with Justin Rhodes. He has added elements that are pretty awesome, to a sequel that was set in the world of Verhoeven. This is a movie I would love to watch.”