Neill Blomkamp wanted RoboCop Returns to be like the original RoboCop

RoboCop Returns has been stuck in development hell for almost 40 years. It was supposed to be the sequel to the original RoboCop film.

RoboCop Returns is a direct sequel penned by the writers of the original 1987 film but it's never seen the light of the day.
RoboCop Returns is a direct sequel penned by the writers of the original 1987 film but it's never seen the light of the day.

Neill Blomkamp is no Martin Scorsese, Christopher Nolan, or Quentin Tarantino but he is still a valued director with several memorable films under his belt. The South African filmmaker helmed 2009's District 9, 2013's Elysium, 2015's Chappie, and Gran Turismo which was only recently released - and an even heavier hitter could have decorated that list, too.

Blomkamp's filmography could be even more iconic, as he was in talks to direct RoboCop Returns, a direct sequel to the 1987 classic RoboCop. Unfortunately, that project will no longer happen after MGM replaced Blomkamp with Abe Forsythe in August 2019 because of scheduling conflicts.

Recently, Blomkamp spoke to JoBlo about his new film Gran Turismo. During that interview, he shared some insights into the failed RoboCop Returns. The 43-year-old revealed he would have emulated the style of the original film's director Paul Verhoeven if it had happened.

He told JoBlo, "That's the only film that I would have ever done where I would have tried to basically simulate Paul Verhoeven's directing style. 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."

We can't say Blomkamp's comment surprises us. The filmmaker is a huge RoboCop fan and he has been vocal about this. Back in 2019, he told Entertainment Weekly that the film had a huge impact on him as a kid. With this history, it certainly makes a lot of sense he would try to pay homage to the film and its director and try his best to recreate the experience he got from watching the original film.

Even though RoboCop Returns was discussed only recently, the film's concept is not new. Following the successful release of the original film, the writers Ed Neumeier and Michael Miner penned the script for a potential sequel. Unfortunately, both writers were sacked and their script was condemned to the annals of history.

Neill Blomkamp left the project in 2019 to focus on another project.
Neill Blomkamp left the project in 2019 to focus on another project.

Several years later, Justin Rhodes, of Terminator: Dark Fate and Contract Killers fame, worked on the script to make sure it was suitable for a modern audience. Forsythe, the director MGM hired to helm it, also took a stab at it after he came on board.

At this point, we cannot say for certain whether RoboCop Returns will ever see the light of day. One thing we are certain of, though, is that there will be a RoboCop film and television series at some point in the future. The reason for this is that Amazon recently bought MGM and, among other things, moved a RoboCop reboot to its high priority list.

Since then, we haven't had any concrete updates. We believe this is because the studio is still hard at work on its development. If this changes, you can be sure we will let you know.

Blomkamp's latest film Gran Turismo is still drifting across theaters worldwide.

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Tobi Oguntola

Tobi Oguntola // Articles: 661

Tobi is an avid reader with interest in everything entertainment. He also loves the big screen as it fuels his overactive imagination. When he is not reading a fantasy, sci-fi, or thriller novel, he is listening to music, watching TV, or surfing the internet. Tobi is on Steam as tobioguntola.
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