RoboCop Reboot Director Teases Details on Abandoned Project

Neill Blomkamp offers new details about his version of the project.

Back in 2018, Neill Blomkamp was tapped to develop a new RoboCop movie, which had the title RoboCop Returns, though it was only a year later that Blomkamp himself announced that he was no longer involved with the project. Given that previous projects like District 9, Elysium, and Chappie made it clear that the filmmaker could blend together dystopic sci-fi themes with a gritty sensibility, Blomkamp seemed like the perfect person to revive the franchise, with the filmmaker recently teasing what his approach would have been to the material and how he would have attempted to honor the cinematic sensibilities of original director Paul Verhoeven. The RoboCop franchise is reportedly expected to be revived as a TV series.

"That's the only film that I would have ever done where I would have tried to basically simulate Paul Verhoeven's directing style," Blomkamp shared with JoBlo. "I wanted it to feel like it was the day after. Like if Dick Jones fell out of the window on Monday, this would have been Tuesday. It was like literally the next morning that it began. So it was a direct sequel exactly in the same style."

The original 1987 movie focused on police officer Alex Murphy (Peter Weller) being mortally wounded in a not-too-distant-future Detroit, with a corporation then turning Murphy into the ruthless cyborg RoboCop. The movie inspired sequels, a TV show, and even an animated series. In 2014, Joel Kinnaman starred in a reboot of the concept, though its PG-13 rating resulted in a very toned-down version of the concept.

When RoboCop Returns was announced, original writer Ed Neumeier had confirmed the concept was based on a sequel script he had written back in 1988 that Blomkamp would be reviving.

Back in 2022, MGM was acquired by Amazon Studios, which brought along with it the opportunity to revive a number of its iconic properties. Just earlier this year, reports emerged that Amazon was aiming to expand some of those titles into multi-media narratives, allowing cinematic universes and TV series to overlap with and promote one another, with RoboCop being among the properties that was expected to be revived for a new generation.

Due to both the writers' and actors' strikes, no substantial updates have emerged about the future of the RoboCop franchise. The new video game RoboCop: Rogue City is expected to be released later this year, which could help bring more interest to the concept.

Would you have liked to have seen Blomkamp's RoboCop Returns? Let us know in the comments!