RoboCop is the latest piece of 80s Hollywood IP to get a contemporary update as studios scramble to resurrect content that was popular in the past to cash in on nostalgia. District 9 director Neill Blomkamp will direct a new instalment in the franchise, titled RoboCop Returns.
The film is designed as a reboot, with original writing team Ed Neumeier and Michael Miner producing and executive producing, respectively, while writer Justin Rhodes (having also penned the upcoming Terminator reboot; dude loves robots) will retool a sequel script originally penned by Neumeier and Miner decades ago that never came to fruition.
While it’s great that a RoboCop reboot has gotten on board a director that has proven to be an expert at crafting sci-fi stories, it’s fair to wonder if 2018 needs a film about a police officer who heartlessly kills anyone not conforming with the law. At least this film will likely be more memorable than the 2014 remake that starred Joel Kinnaman that everyone has already forgotten.
The brief plotline for the reboot states: “Anarchy reigns and the fate of Detroit hangs in the balance as RoboCop makes his triumphant return to fight crime and corruption”, which doesn’t give us much to go on, but Blomkamp naturally seemed excited to helm a big sci-fi project that was a part of his youth:
“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”.
The film definitely has some potential to contain the subversive edge that Paul Verhoeven‘s original had if Blomkamp can harness the themes, and update them to fit contemporary times. We’ll wait for more details regarding the reboot to emerge, and it will be interesting to see who is eventually cast in the title role.