RoboCop Returns promised to be a continuation of Paul Verhoeven‘s 1987 original, in which a police officer named Alex Murphy (Peter Weller) was turned into a robotic police enforcer in a dystopian future Detroit which was on the verge of total collapse due to financial ruin and a high crime rate. The continuation would have been directed by Neill Blomkamp (District 9), who seemed to indicate that Weller would be back in the original RoboCop suit.
However, Blomkamp has announced that he is now off RoboCop Returns. Instead, he will be directing a new horror feature. More on all of this in the full report below.
Blomkamp made the announcement via his personal Twitter account:
It’s not clear as to what will happen to RoboCop Returns. But honestly, it is best that Blomkamp distance himself from the project considering all of his efforts following District 9 have been anything less than stellar.
This isn’t the first time that a new entry in a major franchise that would have been directed by Blomkamp went belly up. There was supposed to be an Alien sequel/continuation that would have brought back Sigourney Weaver and Michael Biehn. Blomkamp went as far as to tease some concept art for the film, but Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant derailed the project. Then there was the Halo movie. This coming after the success of District 9, which has some similar aesthetics to it, from the aliens to their weaponry. Again, the film never could find a way into production.
As for the new horror/thriller, Blomkamp would not elaborate on what the project could be nor did he give out any details. Hopefully, it will have a smaller budget and feature an original story, something that he seems to work well with.
The last time we saw a RoboCop film was in 2014, when Sony released a reboot starring Joel Kinnaman as the title character. The film was met with mixed reviews and did not meet the studio’s box office expectations. Additionally, there were a few production problems. Director José Padilha said that many of his ideas for the film were cut.