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A new RoboCop is in the works with Neill Blomkamp

RoboCop Returns pitched as a direct sequel to the original

A photo of RoboCop standing with his gun drawn in front of a Delta City billboard from the 1987 movie RoboCop. Orion Pictures Corporation/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images
Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

A new RoboCop movies is in development at MGM Studios, with District 9 and Chappie director Neill Blomkamp at the helm, according to a report from Deadline. The sequel, RoboCop Returns, will reportedly be based on a story from the creators and original writers of RoboCop, Edward Neumeier and Michael Miner.

According to Deadline, Neumeier and Miner wrote a draft for a sequel to RoboCop that was never put into production, thanks to the 1988 Writers Guild of America strike. (Frank Miller was responsible for penning 1990’s RoboCop 2.) Writer Justin Rhodes, who is also writing the new Terminator movie, is reportedly overhauling Neumeier and Miner’s RoboCop sequel script.

Blomkamp told Deadline that the original RoboCop “had a massive effect” on him as a kid, and he hopes to return to some of the themes of the original: consumerism, materialism and corporate greed.

Blomkamp’s most recent feature film was 2015’s Chappie. The South African director went on to work on an ultimately canceled Alien project that would have — like RoboCop Returns and the new Terminator and Halloween films — seemingly jettisoned entire movies’ worth of canon and serve as a direct sequel to a beloved franchise film. In 2017, Blomkamp released Rakka, a short film from his experimental Oats Studios, via Steam and YouTube. He was also once attached to direct a Halo movie.

RoboCop Returns will be MGM’s second attempt to revive RoboCop. The original RoboCop was released in 1987, and followed by a pair of sequels in 1990 and 1993. A 2014 attempt at a reboot for the character, simply titled RoboCop, was directed by José Padilha and starred Joel Kinnaman as Alex Murphy, the Detroit police officer who becomes the eponymous cyborg.