Well, this is probably the most unexpected announcement of 2018 so far. According to the Hollywood Reporter, District 9 and Chappie director Neill Blomkamp is apparently going to helm Robocop Returns, a direct sequel to the 1988 original which, like the David Gordon Green Halloween, will ignore everything that came after it. Apparently this script has been sitting in the sock drawers of the original’s writers, Ed Neumeier and Michael Miner, and it’s currently being touched up by Justin Rhodes, who wrote the similar Terminator reboot for Tim Miller.
This isn’t the first time that Blomkamp has threatened to bring his heavy-handed approach to classic political speculative fiction — he was once attached to an Alien film that would have erased the ending to Ali3n because, well, it’s a total bummer and everybody from Aliens ‘cept Ripley died like a buncha PUSSIES bro — but this is a project that’s actually probably going to make it to screen, given that there isn’t a certifiable badass like Sir Ridley Scott keeping the imposters out of his kingdom. Yes, the 2014 remake, directed by Narcos helmer Jose Padilla was bad, and star Joel Kinnaman wasn’t anybody’s first choice for pretty much anything back then, but at least that project tried to strike out on its own in some new and interesting directions. Blomkamp is almost guaranteed to make a greatest hits retread of a far superior filmmaker’s work, in this case the G.O.A.T. Paul Verhoeven, and it’s sure to be bullshit.
Look, we’re more disappointed in Blomkamp’s inability to follow up District 9 with anything worth watching (sorry, Film Twitter, but Chappie isn’t our cup of tea). And this retreat to a familiar property is still all very rich coming from a filmmaker fellated by major outlets all over for going outside the studio system — to YouTube, in fact — in order to achieve his diminishing visions. But who knows! Maybe working in another man’s toy box will reinvigorate Blomkamp’s creativity and all of this worrying will be for naught. We doubt it, though.
No word on when Robocop Returns will hit screens or who exactly will be in it, but stay tuned as that information breaks. Let’s hope Nancy Allen comes back, at least. And we’ll just go on record and say that this is the only good Robocop remake or sequel or reboot (it’s also a hard NSFW, so click at your own risk).