in a new interview this week, writer/producer Ed Neumeier has offered an update on the status of “Robocop Returns” which serves as a direct sequel to Paul Verhoeven’s original 1987 sci-fi/action classic.
The 1987 film followed a cop who, on death’s doorstep, is used as an experiment to create a new type of patrolman – half man, half machine. He struggles with resurfacing memories and corrupt city officials, while the film itself included extreme visceral violence and satirical commentary of the 1980s.
Last year “District 9” and “Chappie” helmer Neill Blomkamp was set to direct the new project from a script which Justin Rhodes was re-writing based on an old script penned in the late 1980s by original film writers Neumeier and Michael Miner. Speaking with HN Entertainment, Neumeier says the first round of script revisions are done with another pass being taken on it:
“I am a producer at the moment. We talked about it a couple of years back and I reminded [MGM] that we had written a very rough sequel back in 1988 which then was stopped by the writer’s strike, the same year. And they looked at it and they said ‘oh, good!’, so we did some more work on that and then Neill Blomkamp found out about it and he said ‘I have always wanted to do this, this is my dream project’ and MGM was very very pleased to get into business with him. 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 or somebody will call me and tell me to shut up, but we’re hopeful and I think Neill really really wants to make a good RoboCop movie. His idea is that it should be the 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.”
Blomkamp also wants to follow in the footsteps of “Creed,” “Star Trek” and “Halloween,” bringing back the film’s original star whilst also laying a new foundation:
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.”
The original film was followed by two sequels, a mini-series, and a 2014 remake – all of which have been largely forgotten.