RoboCop Returns could be one of the most anticipated sci-fi sequels in recent memory. The 1987 classic has only become more beloved over the years and a new entry in the series would be very welcome after the 2014 remake.
Here is everything we have been able to gather about RoboCop Returns, the new sequel that is in development.
WHO IS MAKING ROBOCOP RETURNS?
RoboCop Returns has actually been in development for quite some time. Originally, District 9 writer/director Neill Blomkamp had been attached to a new RoboCop film for quite some time. The sci-fi filmmaker has found himself involved in other big franchises like Alien but none of these movies have ever managed to manifest. Blomkamp was announced as the director for the sequel back in July 2018, but then had to reveal he had left the project in August 2019.
Shortly after this announcement, RoboCop Returns seemed like it was going to die on the vine. However, the project was saved when Little Monsters director Abe Forsythe joined the project. The currently listed screenwriter is Justin Rhodes (Terminator: Dark Fate), but he was the screenwriter attached to the project while Blomkamp was still the director. Whenever there is a change in directors, it is common for the new director to take a look at the script and see if they want to make any changes or start fresh.
It is not known exactly how much Forsythe will be changing the RoboCop Returns script, but The Hollywood Reporter did confirm that the new director will be putting his own stamp on the story.
One of the more unfortunate pieces of RoboCop Returns does have to do with the casting. As of this writing, Peter Weller is not going to reprise the role of Alex Murphy/RoboCop for the new sequel. The celebrated actor did put on the costume for a KFC commercial last year. Does this mean he might be more open to the new movie? It all might depend on how he feels about the finished script. If not, this could be one of our last looks at the original RoboCop actor in the role:
Let us pray that Weller reconsiders. However, a worthwhile thing to mention is the original suit that is featured in that commercial. While Blomkamp was still attached to the sequel, he confirmed that the original RoboCop suit would be returning in RoboCop Returns. That will be an important fact to consider when we talk about the plot of the film a little later.
WHEN CAN YOU WATCH ROBOCOP RETURNS?
There is no announced release date for RoboCop Returns at this time. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has likely set the film back a considerable amount. Most productions are being shut down and even those that are picking back up are running into problems.
Assuming that nothing will enter production until later in 2021 at the earliest, it is possible that we won’t be seeing RoboCop Returns until 2022. Even that could be an optimistic estimate. It all depends on how much importance the studio decides to put on the sequel. And if it ends up becoming a low priority over the next year or so, it could be entirely taken off the schedule.
Hopefully, we will hear something more concrete about a release date by 2021.
So, what will RoboCop Returns even be about? The first and probably most relieving bit of news is that it will be a direct follow-up to the original film. RoboCop screenwriter Ed Neumeier has said that the whole reason to make this sequel is for it to feel like a true continuation of Paul Verhoeven’s landmark film.
In that respect, the script that was being worked on by Blomkamp was said to be based on the original idea for a sequel by RoboCop screenwriters Ed Neumeier and Michael Miner. However, the specifics of the story have not been made totally clear.
According to a report from Deadline, the story of RoboCop Returns will focus on Detroit as the city descends deeper into the crimewave of anarchy that we saw in the first film. With the city on the edge of total chaos, RoboCop will have to make his triumphant return to help stem the city’s decline into a full-on dystopia.
What isn’t known about RoboCop Returns is what kind of role Omni Consumer Products (OCP) will play. The mega-corporation was still in control of RoboCop at the end of the original film. However, Alex Murphy had reasserted his humanity in the final moment of RoboCop. Could he still be under the control of his programming or will he be able to assert his free will?
With policing becoming such a controversial topic in this last year, it will be interesting to see if RoboCop Returns will try and tackle some social commentary about modern militarized policing. That was certainly on the mind of the original film, and it would only be appropriate to see the same topics explored in this follow-up.
Though we haven’t had any direct confirmation on the plot specifics of RoboCop Returns, it is clear that the intention is to deliver a RoboCop sequel that will capture everything fans love about the original. It is fair to assume it will act as both a sequel and a soft reboot for modern audiences that are not familiar with the property. Here’s hoping the project will stay on the studio’s radar and we can get a brand new RoboCop movie in the near future.