Paul Verhoeven’s RoboCop, released in 1987, was one of the first films to truly blur the boundaries between horror, sci-fi, and action. It’s no wonder that the film still enjoys a huge cult following, despite the failure its sequels. In an announcement that should come as no surprise to anyone in today’s mainstream movie climate, word is coming down regarding RoboCop Returns, a reboot brewing at MGM.
This is more than just a nebulous announcement regarding an idea being floated; the studio has already retained Neill Blomkamp (District 9, Chappie) to direct the remake. It’s a shift for the filmmaker who, after famously failing to get Alien 5 off the ground, began producing short films under his own Oats Studios banner.
Blomkamp released a statement, staying:
“The original definitely had a massive effect on me as a kid. I loved it then and it remains a classic at 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 about 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.”
We don’t have a target release date or any casting news yet, but we’ll keep our ears to the ground in order to bring you RoboCop Returns details as they emerge. Stay tuned! In the meantime, check out the trailer and synopsis for 1987’s RoboCop below.
In a violent, near-apocalyptic Detroit, evil corporation Omni Consumer Products wins a contract from the city government to privatise the police force. To test their crime-eradicating cyborgs, the company leads street cop Alex Murphy (Peter Weller) into an armed confrontation with crime lord Boddicker (Kurtwood Smith) so they can use his body to support their untested RoboCop prototype. But when RoboCop learns of the company’s nefarious plans, he turns on his masters.
Verhoeven directed RoboCop from a script penned by Edward Neumeier and Michael Miner; the film stars Peter Weller, Nancy Allen, and Dan O’Herlihy.
Words by: Josh Millican (@josh_millican)