It was recently announced that MGM are developing a prequel series based on the RoboCop franchise that won’t feature the half man, half machine, all cop himself, and while that’s hardly surprising news when you consider that Paul Verhoeven’s 1987 action classic was an origin story, you still get the feeling that it seems a little bit unnecessary.
After all, we’re in the age of Peak TV where small screen quality is at a higher level than ever before, and surely there are plenty of better ideas out there than relying on a recognizable property to develop and market a show that will ostensibly be a tale of a major corporation corrupting the young and innocent Dick Jones into the megalomaniacal villain we met in the Omni Consumer Products boardroom, played with scenery chewing relish by Ronny Cox.
Unless the series is going to continually hint at the technology that will be used to bring RoboCop to life and possibly even throw some ED-209s into the mix for good measure, then it’s basically a straightforward drama that will show how Detroit fell into disrepair and chaos after being corrupted by big businesses, and there’s already no shortage of documentaries out there that tell the exact same story.
Needless to say, not all RoboCop fans are sold on the idea of a spinoff without the main draw, and you can check out some of the reactions below.
— The Man In Black (@rupturedbowel) September 10, 2020
It's a prequel, and it's about how the world ended In the chaos we start the movie in.
— Lex Radu (@MichaelPayneV) September 10, 2020
If you've… seen RoboCop….. then it should be pretty clear a prequel *wouldn't* have RoboCop in it, right? https://t.co/8P8yRF55NR
— John-Charles Holmes (@Sonic9jct) September 10, 2020
Instead of RoboCop we get NormalCop? Kinda boring. Also the original movie already shown RoboCop's backstory so I don't get the point of this. Whatever. https://t.co/2CcsHNeFEk
— ?Duke?McNukem? (@KapitalistKhan) September 10, 2020
Fuck's sake! In case you weren't tired of sequel, after sequel, after sequel, spinoffs, reboots, more sequels…
And so much new and original material festering . https://t.co/a5FFZx14xH
— EarlswoodSunsets (@EarlswoodSunset) September 10, 2020
This "RoboCop prequel with no RoboCop" sounds like a worse idea than "developing" a series about the Kents BEFORE that alien baby landed on their property.
Prior to Clark Kent becoming part of the family, they were just ordinary farmers! Nothing to see there, no need to exploit!
— M U R A T (@MURATMIHCIOGLU) September 10, 2020
Bruh. 90% of the point of Robocop is to watch the big, shiny law-borg kick ass. I don’t give a shit about what happened before- it can be told via implication and exposition in a Robocop film or series. https://t.co/MD84650T3e
— ArgusLimited (@ArgusLtd00) September 10, 2020
Kind of like the phenomenon of making #Batman TV shows without Batman.
This concept of making shows without a focus on the most interesting character in the show's universe is stupid. I wish this trend would go away. https://t.co/VPTlpemlAb
— Matthew Kadish (@MatthewKadish) September 10, 2020
While there’s every chance the concept could result in a solid show, the RoboCop connection still feels a little forced and cynically designed to try and draw in longtime fans of the franchise that will see their curiosity piqued by the watching the rise of Dick Jones, which will unfold over however many seasons MGM are hoping it’ll run for.