It's still technically in the early phases, but Neill Blomkamp's direct sequel to RoboCop, neatly titled RoboCop Returns, already sounds like it's going to be the follow-up that was supposed to have happened in the first place. Though this doesn't mean that fans of director Paul Verhoeven's initial entry in a franchise where humor, gore, and heart all mixed are going to automatically get the first proper sequel to the franchise in its 31 year history. Going about RoboCop Returns the wrong way could be either merely ok like RoboCop 2, or worse, as disastrous as the PG-13, kid-sidekick enhanced RoboCop 3. A good RoboCop sequel is going to need some ground rules, and such regulations are as follows:

Peter Weller's Return As Alex Murphy / RoboCop

Right out of the gate, Neill Blomkamp has made a pretty bold, but universally accepted claim: only Peter Weller can bring justice to the role of Alex Murphy on the big screen. While other actors have taken a good stab at the role themselves, the preparation and acting craft that Weller brought to what could have been a schlocky, one note cyborg cop was what helped make RoboCop such a hit in the first place. This movie could have everything else in line, but if RoboCop Returns doesn't have Peter Weller as the part badass, part warm human, all cop called Murphy by all of his friends, you're already starting at a massive disadvantage.

R-Rated Violence

RoboCop 3 really was one of those weird sequels that tried to continue a more mature franchise's story in a tonally inferior manner. As if the suits in charge were acting like the OCP executives who tried to soften Murphy's image in RoboCop 2, toning down the humor and action of the RoboCop franchise was as bad of an idea as it was to rush one into production. Luckily, Neill Blomkamp understands that the shock value of flesh, bone, and gore are tools that can be used just as precisely as any sort of story beat and special effect. With his expertise in hand, the studio should have no reservations on giving RoboCop Returns a hard R greenlight.

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