I don’t know if “excited” is the word I’d use for my feelings about Robocop Returns, the proposed direct sequel to Paul Verhoeven’s sci-fi satire masterpiece. I might not be out-and-out excited but I am definitely very, very curious about the project. Surely it will be better than the Robo sequels and remake but will its quality be even remotely close to the original film? Unlikely. But, still, I’m curious.
I was even more curious about the project because Neill Blomkamp was slated to direct the feature. I’ve been rooting for Blomkamp ever since District 9 wowed the hell out of me but the director hasn’t lived up to his potential since. He still has a keen eye for sci-fi and he explores territory I find infinitely interesting but he just hasn’t struck gold twice.
Well now Blomkamp is officially off the production and his departure leaves me both disappointed and even more curious. See his tweet below:
The director says he’s leaving Robocop Returns behind which does genuinely suck because I truly believe in his ability as a director. His ability as a screenwriter is a bit more complicated. So it’s a bummer that he won’t be behind the camera on this movie and I fear that MGM, seemingly dying to get this movie made quickly for some odd reason, will pick a hack to slide in for Blomkamp. Fingers crossed that they choose another talented, unique filmmaker.
The part of Blomkamp’s announcement that leaves me giddy is the fact that he claims to be working on a new horror/thriller. So while he won’t be doing Robocop he IS working on something that sounds a bit different and very promising. Blomkamp directing a horror movie sounds like music to my ears, as long as the script is solid. Please, please, please, Neill, make sure you have someone working on the script with you. I can’t experience anything like Chappie ever again.
Will MGM be quick to move on a new director for Robocop Returns or will this just be another could’ve-been film that never sees the light of day? I think we will eventually see Robocop Returns. Like Jesus before him, you just can’t keep Robocop down.