In further proof that no franchise can ever truly be left alone these days, it looks as though Robocop Returns is back on track. Neill Blomkamp spent years developing a follow-up that was set to act as a direct sequel to Paul Verhoeven’s classic 1987 original, and constantly kept the fans up-to-date with news about the project.
However, much like his proposed Alien sequel, the District 9 and Elysium director ultimately departed Robocop Returns, sending it right back to development hell. It seemed that it would become another one of those reboots that was constantly spoken about without ever getting close to going in front of cameras, but now news has broken that Little Monsters director Abe Forsythe has been hired as Blomkamp’s replacement.
On paper, this seems like a strange hire. After all, Forsythe’s last movie was a critically-acclaimed zombie rom-com led by Lupita Nyong’o, which is a far cry from the established social commentary/sci-fi aesthetic found in both the original Robocop and Neill Blomkamp’s entire filmography.
Forsythe will also rewrite the script, the most recent draft of which was penned by Terminator: Dark Fate co-scribe Justin Rhodes, based on an idea by Robocop creators Ed Neumier and Michael Miner, who are still attached to the pic as producers. The presence of Rhodes may be the cause for some concern though, as even the involvement of James Cameron couldn’t save Dark Fate from being an utter disappointment on multiple levels.
Hopefully, the latest iteration of Robocop will avoid the pitfalls set by the sixth Terminator flick and deliver a long-delayed sequel to a classic 1980s sci-fi that actually turns out to be worth the wait for a change.