In the most shocking news of the week, a new Robocop movie has been announced with the man behind District 9 in charge, Neill Blomkamp. Robocop is one of the most beloved action movies of all time. Yes, the three movies that followed have not been very good, but when it comes to many action franchises of the past, that’s the case. But the question of whether or not this movie is actually needed has come to light, and whether or not Blomkamp is the right man for the job.
I remember watching Robocop for the first time just around five years ago, and specifically remember being absolutely blown away by the kind of film it was. It wasn’t just your everyday action franchise, as it was a hell of a lot more violent and bloody than most of what was out around then. And that’s all thanks to director Paul Verhoeven, and sadly, ever since he didn’t return for the sequel, it’s been clear that it was his direction that made the first movie what it was. And that’s exactly what makes everything a bit iffy on having someone like Blomkamp direct what’s being a reboot that acts as a sequel to the original.
Deadline, who dropped the news earlier this week, didn’t have much for a plot-line, but they did have a small excerpt as to what to expect: “Anarchy reigns and the fate of Detroit hangs in the balance as RoboCop makes his triumphant return to fight crime and corruption.” They also sat down with Blomkamp for the exclusive, who seems very excited to make a franchise like Robocop
“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.”
His comments are great, they are, but it doesn’t change my thought outcome on this news. District 9 is a fantastic film, it’s amazing, but it’s hard to forget what came next for the young filmmaker. While Elysium wasn’t terrible, Chappie was. It honestly turned me off from anything from the director because it was a huge disaster in my eyes. Can he redeem himself? Definitely, but it makes me really nervous that a film like Robocop Returns is the film that will either do that or not. I don’t want this movie to be bad because of what the original movie is.
Anyway, what do you think of this news? First of all, are you a fan of the Robocop series? Do you like the idea of seeing a Neill Blomkamp incarnation of the character? How about it being a direct sequel to the original movie? Blomkamp will be directing a script from Justin Rhodes (upcoming Terminator), who is retooling a script that was written by original writers Ed Neumeier and Michael Miner decades ago. No release date has been announced.