'District 9' Filmmaker Neill Blomkamp Tackling 'RoboCop Returns'

RoboCop, the cyborg police officer who patrols the streets of Detroit, is returning to the big screen.

Neill Blomkamp, who directed such tech-heavy movies such as District 9 and Chappie, has been set by MGM to helm what is being titled RoboCop Returns, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.

Justin Rhodes, who co-wrote the Terminator reboot that Tim Miller is directing, is rewriting a script that was written by Ed Neumeier and Michael Miner, the duo who wrote the original 1987 RoboCop, which is regarded as a sci-fi and action classic.

The original movie, directed by Paul Verhoeven, told of a police officer who, on death’s doorstep, is used as an experiment to create a new type of patrolman, one that is half man, half machine (but "all cop," as the poster said). The new creation then struggled with resurfacing memories and corrupt city officials.

RoboCop struck chords viscerally — the action elements went deep 'R' rating — as well as thematically, with the movie serving up satirical commentary on Reaganomics, the Go-Go '80s and media.

Two sequels followed — one was even co-written by Frank Miller — but they are largely forgotten.

MGM already tried to resuscitate the franchise with a remake in 2014. That movie was directed by Jose Padilha, the helmer of Brazil’s acclaimed Elite Squad crime movies, and starred Joel Kinnaman. The pic was met with tepid response and shows how hard it can be to manage and update classic titles.

Neumeier and Miner wrote the script for the sequel years ago, with Rhodes now rewriting it. Neumeier will act as a producer on RoboCop Returns, with Miner serving as an executive producer.

 

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