In 2018, there was a lot of chatter about a possible Robocop revisit, that would in truth be way more of a direct sequel than anyone thought possible.
Justin Rhodes (co-writer of Tim Miller's The Terminator sequel) was reportedly rewriting a script that Ed Neumeier and Michael Miner originally wrote as a direct sequel to Paul Verhoeven's 1987 Robocop film. This script reportedly picks up right after the end of the first film, and has a working title of Robocop Returns.
Neill Blomkamp told Deadline back in July of 2018 that Rhodes had "added elements that are pretty awesome, to a sequel that was set in the world of Verhoeven. This is a movie I would love to watch."
Cut to today, and Neumeier (who will produce Robocop Returns) offering an update to HN Entertainment about the status of the production, and the possibility of Peter Weller returning:
"We talked about it a couple of years back and I reminded [MGM] that we had written a very rough sequel back in 1988 which then was stopped by the writer's strike, the same year. And they looked at it and they said 'Oh, good!', so we did some more work on that and then Neill Blomkamp found out about it and he said, 'I have always wanted to do this, this is my dream project' and MGM was very very pleased to get into business with him.
Neill Blomkamp and his screenwriter Justin Rhodes have done a pass on the script we were writing on and they're doing another one. It is a slightly different concept in some ways than we were originally doing, Neill wants to do. I don't want to talk too much about it or somebody will call me and tell me to shut up, but we're hopeful and I think Neill really really wants to make a good RoboCop movie. His idea is that it should be the proper Verhoeven if Verhoeven had directed a movie right after RoboCop I think that's what he is trying to achieve and I hope he does. We'll see what happens next.
I don't want to spoil anything but we had some ideas about shall we say about the future of augmented humans and one of our villains is that and our other villain lives in the corporate world somewhat as before, but, you know, the RoboCop thing for me was always exploring man's relationship with technology, coping with technology.
As you know from the press that Neill Blomkamp wants to bring back Peter Weller back and what you get when you do that if you use the DNA of the old property in the new is that you get something that shares continuity and fans can embrace the brand, it's not too different and what you realize is that when I was sitting and writing 30 years later, rewriting, the second draft of our sequel to RoboCop, which was called The Corporate Wars at the time and is now called RoboCop Returns. I kept hearing Peter's voice, you know, Peter adds a lot to that."
So, what do we think? Yes Robocop whether or not Weller returns, or was the 2014 evidence enough of the importance of keeping key players in a franchise?
We'll let you know when we hear anything new about Robocop Returns.