Four years ago, MGM attempted to reboot the RoboCop franchise with a remake starring Joel Kinnaman. That wasn’t too big a hit, at least not domestically, so now instead of continuing from that movie, the studio is going back to the beginning. According to Deadline, Neill Blomkamp (District 9) will helm a direct sequel to the 1987 original.
There was rumor earlier this year of a possible RoboCop that would continue from the very first movie, and now this is confirmation. Titled RoboCop Returns, the sequel will be based on a screenplay written in the 1980s that was never produced. As it turns out, the election of Donald Trump as president was an inspiration for revisiting that old script.
Here’s everything we know about the RoboCop sequel:
Did the 2016 presidential election really inspire RoboCop Returns?
Apparently, the RoboCop sequel script written by original screenwriters Ed Neumeier and Michael Miner back in the ’80s featured a reality TV star who became the U.S. president. MGM head Jon Glickman recalled hearing about that, and he called the writers to confirm and put the wheels in motion for it to finally be made. As Neumeier told Deadline:
“Right when Trump was about to be elected president he 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.”
What makes Neill Blomkamp the best director for the sequel?
Blomkamp, whose feature directorial debut, District 9, was a Best Picture nominee, has been making movies about robots and involving social themes his whole career. As if his past movies didn’t already prove how much the original RoboCop influenced him, Blomkamp had all this to say to Deadline explaining his interest in 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.”
What is Justin Rhodes’ involvement?
Justin Rhodes, who apparently worked with Blomkamp before on some uncredited or unfinished project, will rewrite Neumeier and Miner’s old script. Rhodes has also worked on the scripts for upcoming Masters of the Universe, Green Lantern and Terminator movies.
What about Neumeier and Miner?
The duo who wrote the old draft of this sequel, as well as the original RoboCop, are overseeing this new movie as producers.
What is the plot of the sequel?
According to Deadline: “Anarchy reigns and the fate of Detroit hangs in the balance as RoboCop makes his triumphant return to fight crime and corruption.”
Will anyone from the original return for RoboCop Returns?
There’s not a likelihood of any original RoboCop actors coming back for this sequel, which means it’s sort of a reboot even while directly continuing from that first movie.
Has anyone been cast yet?
When can we see RoboCop Returns?
MGM hasn’t set a release date yet, but we can assume the sequel will arrive in the next couple of years.