Ed Neumeier updates us on the return of a pop culture icon in Neill Blomkamp’s RoboCop Returns
Back in July of last year, we were all astounded by the news that Neill Blomkamp was working on a ‘true’ sequel to the 1987 sci-fi epic Robocop entitled ‘Robocop Returns’. This news was greeted with both joy and also reservations. Blomkamp, if you recall was working on a fifth ‘Alien’ film based on a screenplay he wrote years ago, even teasing us with concept art he had drawn for the film showing Ripley AND Hicks back together again, disregarding Alien 3 and Alien Resurrection completely. Fox announced the film was on the fast track to development and had an idea of when shooting would begin. Both Sigourney Weaver and Michael Biehn expressed great interest in returning for the film and we expected to be sitting in a movie theatre watching a kick-ass sequel to the sublime Aliens. And…Nothing. Plans were halted during the filming of Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant and now the film lies dead at Fox Studios, another one to add to the pile of could have been.
Will Robocop Returns suffer the same fate? After the announcement yesterday by original writer Ed Neumeier, the answer thankfully appears to be NO! Neumeier has shed some light on the upcoming sequel on what the fans should expect from the film:
“Neill Blomkamp and his screenwriter Justin Rhodes have done a pass on the script we were writing on and they’re doing another one. It is a slightly different concept in some ways than we were originally doing. I don’t want to talk too much about it…but we’re hopeful and I think Neill really, really wants to make a good Robocop movie. His idea is that it should be proper Verhoeven if Verhoeven had directed a movie right after Robocop. I think that’s what he is trying to achieve and I hope he does. We’ll see what happens next.”
He also added that Blomkamp is hoping and actively trying to bring back original Robocop star Peter Weller for the new film, 29 years after he last played the character.
“As you know from the press that Neill Blomkamp wants to bring back Peter Weller and what you get when you do that if you use the DNA of the old property in the new is that you get something that shares continuity and fans can embrace the brand”
Whether or not Blomkamp is successful or not getting Weller back or for the film to even be made is up for question and remains to be seen at this time. I for one will actively champion the film if it gets to be made. I loved the original Robocop back in 1987 (The 2nd film I enjoyed, just not as much and the 3rd film and the remake we will avoid completely!) and would love to see the TRUE Robocop back on the big screen again. Bring back Peter Weller, Nancy Allen and the sublime Basil Poledouris themes, again use the film to satirize society and big business (There’s enough material from the Trump Presidency to make 10 films) and make the film a violent, black comedy in the same vein as the original. THAT will be the film the fans have been demanding. No PG-13 rated family friendly crap but an R rated violent action/sci-fi film for the ages. With Neumeier’s statement, we may be closer than ever to getting the sequel the fans have been waiting for and the original deserves.
Until next time…
“Dead or alive, you’re coming with me!”
The Future of the Force. The future of pop culture writing.