The announcement that District 9 director Neil Blomkamp is directing Robocop Returns has fans of the franchise buzzing in a good way. News that Blomkamp's film will be a direct sequel to the original Robocop, with some of the same creative team involved, received a serious stamp of fan-approval. Well, fans better hold on to their collective hats, as Blomkamp may now be teasing the return of the original Robocop himself, Peter Weller!
Peter Weller— Neill Blomkamp (@NeillBlomkamp) August 13, 2018
Blompkamp may have just been gassing fans up with what he knew would triggering tease; or, this could be the sign of something he passionately believes in, both as a fan and this film's director. Bringing Weller back as Alex Murphy / Robocop would be in keeping with what we've seen for Blomkamp — specifically when he pitched the concept for his Alien 5 film, which would've been a direct sequel to Aliens. For that project Blomkamp wanted to bring back Sigourney Weaver, Micahel Biehn and Carrie Henn, in their respective roles of Ellen Ripley, Corporal Hicks, and Newt. It's clear that Blomkamp has an affinity for his own '80s/'90s action movie upbringing, and wants to be involved in shaping those films' legacies in a direct way — not just using the franchise brand to make a generic sequel.
What remains to be seen is if Weller would be open to making a return to the role. Though 72 years old, Weller hasn't really shown much sign of slowing down in his acting career. He's been involved in some of the biggest action/genre franchises around, including 24, Dexter, Star Trek: Into Darkness, Sons of Anarchy, Longmire — and even animated superheroes flicks (Batman: The Dark Knight Returns) and games (Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare). He's still very much a relevant icon, not to mention one heck of an actor in his own right.
If you've never done the research, do yourself a favor and check out what Peter Weller did to prepare for his Robocop role. When the Robocop costume didn't work, Weller worked with acclaimed Juillard School instructor Moni Yakim to develop a style of movement that would create the now-iconic mannerisms of Robocop - basically saving the film in the process. If that doesn't prove why Robocop Returns needs the O.G. Murphy back, nothing will.
We'll keep you updated on the casting status of the new Robocop as news comes in.