RoboCop Returns will be, as its title implies, a return to the sci-fi action franchise in classic form, as the latest news on the developing sequel now reveals. Not only will the film pick up from the continuity of director Paul Verhoeven’s iconic original 1987 RoboCop (and its two sequels, uneven as they may be), but its director, Neill Blomkamp, has stated that his sequel will sport the original – never-topped – RoboCop armored exoskeleton suit!
Blomkamp, in a revelatory tweeted reply to a fan’s question, proved that RoboCop Returns will live up to its billing in a big way, with his confirmation of the title character’s classic suit, which might just be donned by original star Peter Weller.
This, of course, is a big deal, since moviegoers’ minds are still fresh with images of the 2014 RoboCop reboot film, in which its star, Joel Kinnaman, was decked out in a dark, stealth-stylized update that – while a clear homage to the original suit – was something aesthetically closer to a knock-off Iron Man armor. – Although, by the end of that film, he did don a grey exoskeleton that was closer to the original’s look.
The news arrives nearly a year after the reveal that Blomkamp – the South African director famous for allegorical sci-fi films like District 9, Elysium and Chappie – procured the director’s chair for RoboCop Returns. The revival tapped the services of up-and-coming screenwriter Justin Rhodes, whose name also graces a script that revives – in similar classic callback form – a genre contemporary in this November’s Terminator: Dark Fate. Pertinently, Blomkamp’s recent twitter activity also includes an update on said script (which he teases will contain “new stuff”), revealing that it’s still in the process of being written.
The RoboCop Returns script in question will be based on a 1988 sequel draft by franchise creators Ed Neumeier and Michael Miner, titled RoboCop: The Corporate Wars, which, besides showcasing a more allegorical aspect of the already-satirical near-future-set mythology, was to jump ahead 25 years from the first film; an iteration that was nixed in favor of the script for 1990’s RoboCop 2 that we did get, written by Frank Miller and Walon Green and directed by Irvin Kershner (who also directed a little arthouse flick called Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back). Indeed, there’s a story structure here that – over 30 years after the fact – has proved serendipitous for this long-belated follow-up to the original film franchise, which was last represented on the big screen by 1991’s RoboCop 3, not counting the syndicated animated series and duo of Canadian TV shows.