MGM is currently developing a new RoboCop film, and they have recently announced that District 9 director Neill Blomkamp is set to direct. Will this be a more successful revival of the popular sci-fi franchise?
In an interesting twist for the RoboCop franchise, it seems the latest installment will be a sequel to the 1987 original film, directed by fan-favorite candidate Neill Blomkamp. The writers from that film Ed Neumeier and Michael Miner are signed on as producer and executive producer, respectively, marking their first time moving their own creation forward since the original release.
The original RoboCop film featured Peter Weller as a badly wounded cop about to die before he is turned into an ultimate cyborg law enforcement officer, tasked with eliminating crime throughout Detroit even with the memories of his former life continuing to plague him. MGM attempted to reboot the franchise with a Jose Padilha-directed film starring Joe Kinnaman in 2014, and while it fared particularly well in China, it wasn’t the success the studio had hoped for.
Now, RoboCop is returning to its origins with a direct sequel to the original where anarchy is once again raging through Detroit, forcing the return of RoboCop to instill order. Neill Blomkamp is an interesting decision for such a film, given that his prior work has included such strong themes like immigration and class warfare. Speaking with Deadline, the director elaborated on the impact the original had on him as a kid.
“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.” – Neill Blomkamp
It seems as though the latest RoboCop film is in very capable hands. Check back for more information as it releases!