Originally, Neill Blomkamp was attempting to make a sequel to Ridley Scott’s Alien, but apparently that never materialized. Now, Blomkamp is currently working on a direct sequel to the 1987 science fiction film RoboCop, instead.
Much like the recent 2018 iteration of Halloween, Blomkamp’s RoboCop sequel, officially titled RoboCop Returns, will completely ignore all other films in the franchise. But while the recent Halloween sequel was able to land Jamie Lee Curtis back in her iconic role as Laurie Strode, Neill Blomkamp doesn’t appear to be having the same luck. According to Cinemablend, the original actor who played the character of RoboCop, Peter Weller, has confirmed via his publicist that he will not be appearing in Blomkamp’s RoboCop endeavor.
According to the report, this is a major blow for Blomkamp, as he originally wanted Weller back for the role. He has, however, stated he still plans to recast the role.
While no official reason was given for Weller’s disinterest in RoboCop Returns, it should be noted that Peter Weller is now 71-years-old and may well not feel up to jumping back into an R-rated action/sci-fi movie. The original RoboCop sparked much controversy with its over-the-top violence and bleak outlook of the Detroit police force.
Peter Weller did reprise his role as RoboCop in the 1990 sequel RoboCop 2, directed by Directed by Irvin Kershner. RoboCop 2 also starred John Glover, Mario Machado, and Leeza Gibbons. He declined to return for the third entry to the RoboCop franchise in 1993, RoboCop 3. Instead he was replaced by actor Robert John Burke.
In 2014, José Padilha directed a remake of the original, which was simply titled RoboCop and starred Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, and Samuel L. Jackson. The film faired well at the box office, but received mixed reviews from movie critics. It currently holds a 49 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
The original RoboCop was directed by science fiction director Paul Verhoeven (Total Recall, Starship Troopers) and was a massive success. While it did receive criticism for its violence upon release, it has since gone on to become an iconic science fiction film. Currently RoboCop (1987) is the highest critically reviewed movie in the franchise, with an aggregated score of 89 percent.
Despite violence, nudity, and copious drug use in the movie, 1987’s RoboCop spawned a successful line of toys and became wildly popular with children. The movie was also nominated for three Academy Awards, including Best Film Editing, Best Sound Editing, and Best Sound Mixing.