There’s no denying it, Robocop is an absolute action classic - it’s perfect in almost every single way. The first sequel is fun as a mindless shoot ‘em up too, but the less said about flying Robocop 3, the better. Still, there’s enough name-recognition there for a remake, so that duly happened in 2014, with José Padilha’s actually-alright-you-know reboot.
BUT YOU THINK THAT’S GOING TO STOP THEM DOING IT AGAIN? No siree Bob, they’re back on that train again!
Thankfully, things are slightly different this time around - it’s essentially a reboot of a planned sequel to the original, that never got made due to a writers’ strike soon after it first came out. As such, the script - by original writers Ed Neumeier and Michael Miner - languished about until around 2016, in the run-up to the election.
Neumeier told Deadline that the president of MGM, Jonathan Glickman, “called me and said, ‘Did you actually predict in your sequel script that a reality star would run for president and win?’ We had.”
“So Mike and I wrote a draft and gave one interview in Barbados and I think the only person who read it was Neill Blomkamp, and that set this in motion.”
Yep, that’s Neill Blomkamp of District 9 and Chappie fame, who is now on board to direct.
So really, this is a… sequel? Like, it’s sort of a reboot because it seems the 2014 version is being ignored, but it doesn’t look like we’ll be doing the whole origin story again - it’s going to be called Robocop Returns, either way.
Blomkamp spoke to Deadline more about the project:
“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.”
Look, it’s Robocop - anything with him in has gotta pique the interest in at least some way. He’s been in some shit, but he’s been in some gold - hopefully this one will be of the shiny variety, rather than a stinky matte one.
(Images: Orion Pictures/StudioCanal)