‘District 9’ Director Neill Blomkamp To Direct Upcoming ‘RoboCop’ Sequel

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Entertainment Weekly reports that MGM Studios will be reviving the RoboCop franchise with acclaimed sci-fi director Neill Blomkamp.

The sequel, titled RoboCop Returns, will be a sequel to the original 1987 version and not a follow-up to the 2014 film which starred Joel Kinnaman (The Killing, Altered Carbon), Michael Keaton, Gary Oldman, and Samuel L. Jackson. José Padilha directed the reboot which was released to mostly negative reviews in America. The film, however, is considered a commercial success after making over $240 million worldwide.

Edward Neumeier and Michael Miner, who wrote the original 1987 RoboCop, will serve as producer and executive producer respectively.

The idea for RoboCop Returns is based off an original script Neumeier and Miner had planned originally in the ’80s and was intended to be a follow up to the successful 1987 feature. The original idea for the sequel was scrapped by the studio and director who did not want to deal with politics involved in the script.

The long-dormant sequel will now see the light of day with Justin Rhodes (who is currently involved with a new Terminator film) in charge of rewriting the script.

Actor Joel Kinnaman arrives at the premiere of Columbia Pictures’ ‘Robocop’ at TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California. Kevin Winter / Getty Images

Neumeier stated in an interview with Deadline that MGM president John Glickman came forward to him about the idea for a sequel.

“Right when Trump was about to be elected president [MGM president Jon Glickman] called me and said, ‘Did you actually predict in your sequel script that a reality star would run for president and win?’ We had. So Mike and I wrote a draft and gave one interview in Barbados and I think the only person who read it was Neill Blomkamp, and that set this in motion.”

The original RoboCop film was released in 1987 and directed by Paul Verhoeven. The film originally starred Peter Weller as Alex Murphy, a cop working in a dystopian Detroit who becomes terminally injured in the line of duty. He then is remade as the cyborg known as RoboCop.

In the same interview with Deadline, director Neill Blomkamp shared his thoughts on the original film.

“The original definitely had a massive effect on me as a kid. I loved it then and it remains a classic in the end of 20th Century sci-fi catalog, with real meaning under the surface. Hopefully that is something we can get closer to in making of a sequel. That is my goal here.”

Blomkamp has had a successful string of critically acclaimed sci-fi films which include theOscar-nominated District 9, Elysium, and Chappie.

Currently, the upcoming sequel does not have a set release date and there is no word as to whether Joel Kinnaman will return as the role of Alex Murphy.