Robocop is one of the beloved films from the 1980s, an entertaining genre film with plenty of humor, satire and social commentary. There have been two sequels, two TV shows and a reboot in 2014. Now Deadline reports that the series is going back to its routes and South African director Neill Blomkamp has been hired to direct.
The new Robocop film is to be a sequel to the original film, ignoring all other films in the series. It is going to be based on a screenplay by Edward Neumeier and Michael Miner, the writers of the original film. The screenplay was originally intended to be a sequel back when Robocop 2 was being developed but fell through because of a lack of interest from original director Paul Verhoeven. Neumier and Miner are set to be executive producers and up-and-coming screenwriter Justin Rhodes has been hired to do rewrites.
Blomkamp broke on the scene back in 2009 with his surprise hit District 9 and he is a perfect fit for the series. Blomkamp was a fan of the original film and all his films have been sci-fi action films with social commentary and humor. His most recent film, Chappie, was pretty much South African Robocop. He would be able to provide the action, special effects and political commentary expected from a Robocop film.
There are a couple of caveats. Many of the Robocop films have been through development hell, Robocop 2 ignored most of Frank Miller’s screenplay, Robocop 3 was made with a PG-13 in a desperate attempt to save Orion Pictures and the 2014 reboot had Darren Aronofsky attached for years before Jose Padilha took over. Padilha called his work on Robocop (2014) the worst experience of his life. None of the follow-ups have been able to recapture the magic of the first film.
Blomkamp has been bitten when making franchise films. He was hired to write and direct a follow-up to Aliens but his work discarded for Alien Covenant.
Despite these issues a Robocop sequel holds a lot of promise because of Neumier and Miner return and Blomkamp abilities as a filmmaker. It will be interesting to see what this team can do.