Neill Blomkamp Is Directing a New ‘RoboCop’ Movie (Yes, There’s Another One)
It’s only been four years since Sony’s attempt to reboot RoboCop with Joel Kinnaman as the cop-turned-crime-fighting-cyborg — though you’d be forgiven if you’ve already forgotten the bland remake of Paul Verhoeven’s satirical 1987 sci-fi classic. That might be an advantage for MGM, which is plotting a new RoboCop movie with District 9 and Chappie director Neill Blomkamp at the helm.
Deadline reports that Blomkamp has signed on to direct RoboCop Returns, which isn’t a reboot, but a continuation of Verhoeven’s 1987 film. The script was written by original screenwriting duo Ed Neumeier and Michael Miner, who will serve as producers on the new film. MGM also recently enlisted Justin Rhodes, the co-writer of the Tim Miller’s upcoming Terminator sequel, to revise Neumeier and Miner’s screenplay — which was initially written not long after the release of Verhoeven’s film as an intended follow-up.
Peter Weller portrayed the iconic crime-fighting cyborg in the ’87 version, which was set in Detroit and took a satirical approach to the American socio-political climate. It’s pretty obvious that the original RoboCop is a huge inspiration for Blomkamp, whose films are often set in not-too-distant futures, involve robotics, and explore similar class, race, moral, and law enforcement issues.
Blomkamp has not been attached to direct a feature project since his Alien sequel — starring Sigourney Weaver — was nixed when Ridley Scott returned to continue his classic series. In the meantime, Blomkamp has developed and directed shorts for his indie outfit Oats Studios; he recently tried — and failed — to crowdfund the financing for one of those projects.
Honestly, the fact that Blomkamp is the obvious choice for a new RoboCop movie could go either way. Since making his feature debut with the critically-acclaimed hit District 9, Blomkamp has failed to deliver a film nearly as good or financially viable. He’s a great concept designer, but his screenwriting skills leave something to be desired. That said, the fact that RoboCop Returns wasn’t written by Blomkamp is definitely a point in its favor.