While his plans for what could’ve been Alien 5 didn’t work out, District 9 and Chappie director Neill Blomkamp has moved on to new horizons and has set his sights on another beloved property. Deadline broke the news that Blomkamp is set to direct MGM‘s RoboCop Returns – and we should let you know that this will be a direct sequel to the original film and not the mediocre 2014 reboot.
RoboCop‘s original writers, Ed Neumeier and Michael Miner, are back in producing roles this time, with Neumeier producing and Miner executive producing. Justin Rhodes, who co-wrote the still unnamed Terminator reboot with Tim Miller, is reworking Neumeier and Minder’s original script for the planned sequel to the first film that never materialised.
In the new sequel:
“Anarchy reigns and the fate of Detroit hangs in the balance as RoboCop makes his triumphant return to fight crime and corruption.”
Blomkamp spoke to Deadline about the project:
“The original definitely had a massive effect on me as a kid. 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.”
The director evidently has a huge love of the Verhoeven’s original classic. Most of Blomkamp’s films centre around dystopia, technology and crime, and it’s clear he loves his mechs, so if anyone can successfully reinvigorate this franchise, it’s probably him.
With a new director signed, we can expect to hear more about casting and the film itself over the coming weeks.