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Back in 2014, Hollywood gave RoboCop the reboot treatment, and while the end result did okay commercially, it was met with mixed critical reaction. For a while, a sequel for that reboot was in development, but ultimately nothing ever came of that. Cut to this past January, Ed Neumeier, the writer of the original RoboCop movie, revealed that a new RoboCop movie was in the works, only this one would be a continuation of 1987's RoboCop. Now it's been confirmed that this particular project is moving forward, and District 9's Neil Blomkamp will direct it.
This new RoboCop movie will be called RoboCop Returns, and along with Neil Blomkamp in the director's chair, Justin Rhodes, who co-wrote Tim Miller's upcoming Terminator movie, will rewrite the script that Ed Neumeier and Michael Miner (who co-wrote the original RoboCop with Neumeier) penned years back. Neumeier and Miner are still attached to this new movie as producer and executive producer, respectively. Originally written to be the sequel to director Paul Verhoeven's RoboCop, RoboCop Returns will see RoboCop making his triumphant return to Detroit to fight crime and corruption as the city's fate hangs in the balance due to anarchy being widespread.
As most of you reading know, the original RoboCop was a critical and commercial success that spawned two sequels, with Peter Weller reprising the eponymous role for 1990's RoboCop 2 and Robert John Burke taking over for 1993's RoboCop 3. As for why Ed Neumeier and Michael Miner's RoboCop Returns script wasn't used for RoboCop 2, Neumeier told Deadline that at the time, director Paul Verhoeven wasn't interested in the "the politics of a sequel." After the 1988 Writers Strike happened, new creative talent was brought aboard, including Frank Miller and Walon Green writing the script, and Irvin Kershner directing the sequel. Decades later, MGM contacted Neumeier about creating franchise material for the studio, and now his and Miner's other RoboCop story is finally being brought to life, albeit with some changes. While not 100% clear, it sounds like RoboCop Returns will be taking the Halloween route by directly following the original RoboCop and ignoring the other sequels that came before.
As for Neil Blomkamp, after 2009's District 9, he made 2013's Elysium and 2015's Chappie; both movies performed decently at the box office, but the former earned mixed-to-positive reception from critics, while the latter earned primarily negative reviews. Here's what Blomkamp had to say regarding why he boarded RoboCop Returns, aside from just being a fan of the original RoboCop:
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.
Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more updates on how RoboCop Returns is progressing. In the meantime, don't forget to look through our 2018 release schedule to learn what movies are hitting theaters later this year.