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One of science fiction's most enduring icons is set to return to theaters under the direction of District 9 filmmaker Neil Blomkamp. A sequel to Robocop is currently in development, and it now looks like the film could lean even closer to the original continuity than we realized. In fact, when asked about possible casting choices on Twitter, Blomkamp opened up to fans and admitted that original Robocop actor Peter Weller is his choice for Alex Murphy in Robocop Returns. The director wrote:
That would be huge if true. Peter Weller is the icon who started the Robocop franchise under the legendary visor, and bringing him back would essentially confirm that Blomkamp wants to move his Robocop closer to the original continuity, as well as guarantee that it would have no connection to the 2014 Robocop starring Suicide Squad's Joel Kinnaman. At 71, Weller is definitely pretty old to return to the role of an action icon, but Robocop is a character known for slow and lumbering speed, so he could probably still pull it off.
With that said, we need to take this moment to address the fact that Robocop Returns has not confirmed the return of Peter Weller as Alex Murphy just yet. Tone is sometimes hard to figure out on social media, and it remains entirely possible that Neil Blomkamp is simply making a joke about the franchise to get fans of the series riled up. If that was the intention, then mission accomplished, sir. After all, wouldn't it be awesome to see the icon return to take down bad guys in Detroit? I think so.
This method of selective continuity has become an important element of franchise filmmaking recently, as directors have begun to realize that they can simply ignore entire branches of a series' storyline in favor of something more streamlined and simpler that embodies the core elements of a given series. Robocop is one clear example, but another is Blumhouse's upcoming Halloween movie, which will similarly ignore all of the existing Halloween sequels in favor of a movie that simply returns to the story established in 1978.
It also makes plenty of sense to imagine Neil Blomkamp diving into a Robocop sequel that ignores previous sequels based on what he has tried to do with other beloved franchises in the past. Specifically, Blomkamp was hard-at-work on an Alien movie that would've directly followed Aliens and ignored Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrection. Many fans were incredibly excited about the possibility of an Alien sequel retconning some of the lesser sequels out of existence and bringing back fan-favorites like Sigourney Weaver and Michael Biehn, and while it looks like that won't happen anymore, the possibility of a similar move occurring with Robocop Returns could be exactly what fans need to get excited.
CinemaBlend will bring you more information concerning the sequel/reboot of Robocop as new details about the film (and its casting) are made available to us. Until we learn more, you can head over to our movie premiere guide to mark down your moviegoing calendars with all of 2018's most important release dates!