‘District 9’ director to helm direct sequel to the original 1987 ‘Robocop’

awesome prop auction movies robocop image 1

Dead or alive, the RoboCop franchise is coming back to the big screen.

Paul Verhoeven’s wildly successful 1987 film about a police officer brought back from the dead as a powerful cyborg law-enforcement agent spawned multiple sequels, spinoffs, a 2014 remake, and even a pair of animated series — and now RoboCop is coming back online again with District 9 and Chappie director Neill Blomkamp behind the camera.

The new film is expected to be a direct sequel to Verhoeven’s original movie, ignoring the events of 1990’s Robocop 2, and will be based on an unused script for the sequel penned by RoboCop screenwriters Ed Neumeier and Michael Miner. According to Deadline, the film will be titled RoboCop Returns, with Neumeier and Miner serving as producer and executive producer, respectively, on the film. Justin Rhodes, who scripted the upcoming reboot of the Terminator franchise, will rewrite Neumeier and Miner’s original script for RoboCop 2 and update it for the new film.

The only plot synopsis for the film released at this point keeps things relatively vague: “Anarchy reigns and the fate of Detroit hangs in the balance as RoboCop makes his triumphant return to fight crime and corruption.”

“The original definitely had a massive effect on me as a kid,” said Blomkamp in a statement accompanying the announcement. “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 a sequel. That is my goal here.”

The original RoboCop cast Peter Weller as Alex Murphy, a Detroit Police Department officer who is killed on duty, only to have most of his body replaced with powerful cybernetics. The film’s over-the-top violence infamously earned it an “X” rating before Verhoeven edited it sufficiently for an “R” release, and it dealt with hot-button, Reagan-era themes such as corporate greed, media sensationalism, and capitalism run amok. The potential future it explored — in which private companies began running various state and federal government agencies as profit-based businesses — soon seemed eerily prescient in the years that followed the film’s release.

“What I connected to as a kid has evolved over time,” said Blomkamp.” At first, the consumerism, materialism, and Reaganomics, that ’80s theme of America on steroids, came through most strongly. But as I’ve gotten older, the part that really resonated with me is identity, and the search for identity. As long as the human component is there, a good story can work in any time period, it’s not locked into a specific place in history. What’s so cool about RoboCop is that, like good Westerns, sci-fi films, and dramas, the human connection is really important to a story well told. What draws me now is someone searching for their lost identity, taken away at the hands of people who are benefiting from it, and seeing his memory jogged by events. That is most captivating.”

The 1987 film made $53.4 million off a $13 million budget and earned three Academy Award nominations in technical categories, winning the Academy Award for Best Sound Editing. Two sequels were released, with 1990’s RoboCop 2 bringing on Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back director Irvin Kershner. That film earned mixed reviews and was followed by RoboCop 3 in 1993. The kid-friendly third installment, directed by Fred Dekker, received overwhelmingly negative reviews and failed to cover its production costs.

A reboot of RoboCop was released in 2014, with filmmaker Jose Padilha behind the camera and Joel Kinnaman in the title role. That film underperformed in U.S. theaters, but ended up earning $242.7 million worldwide.

Movies & TV

'Halloween' sequel gives new life to an old killer

David Gordon Green's Halloween sequel finds the right balance between the familiar and the new with a terrifying return to the blood-soaked saga of Michael Myers and Laurie Strode.
Movies & TV

‘Halloween’ scares up a monster opening weekend with $77.5 million premiere

Halloween slashed its way to the top of the weekend box office with an impressive $77.5 million premiere, giving it the second biggest premiere of all time for an R-rated horror movie.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (October 2018)

Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be an undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.
Gaming

The best video games to gift this holiday season, from ‘Spider-Man’ to ‘Hitman 2’

The holidays are quickly approaching and you might be looking for ideas on what to get your favorite gamer. Here are the best games you can buy for your gaming loved ones this holiday season.
Home Theater

What’s new on Amazon Prime Video (November 2018)

Amazon Prime Video adds new titles each month that are available for free to all Prime members. Check out our list to find all the content hitting Amazon Prime Video in October and November 2018, from new original series to classic films.
Movies & TV

‘Orange is the New Black’ will end with season 7, Netflix says

Netflix has confirmed that its award-winning series Orange is the New Black will end its run with the upcoming season 7, bringing the show to an end with a final season premiering in 2019.
Home Theater

They’re not just for gaming: Watch Blu-rays on the Xbox One S and Xbox One X

While the Xbox One S and Xbox One X boost the visuals of your games, they also can pull double-duty as Blu-ray players, but there's a bit of set up needed. Need help? Here's our guide on how to watch Blu-rays on the Xbox One S and X.
Movies & TV

You can ditch cable but still get your 'SportsCenter' fix with ESPN+

ESPN's streaming service, ESPN+, is finally here. Despite appearances, ESPN+ isn't a replacement for your ESPN cable channels, and it differs from other streaming apps in a few key ways.
Movies & TV

Title logo for 'John Wick 3' makes its debut during licensing show

The third installment of the wildly successful action series that stars Keanu Reeves as a deadly assassin forced out of retirement, John Wick 3: Parabellum, hits theaters in May 2019. Here's everything we know about the movie so far.
Podcasts

Michael Myers returns, Jonah Hill goes back to the '90s

This week on Between the Streams, we'll be discussing the latest take on the Halloween saga, aptly titled Halloween, as well as some major TV cancellations, Marvel and DC news, an intriguing new movie from Jonah Hill about the '90s, and…
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'The Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘The Good Place’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in October, from 'The Witch’ to ‘Black Panther’

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, subdued humor, or anything in between.
Movies & TV

Out of movies to binge? Our staff picks the best flicks on Hulu right now

From classics to blockbusters, Hulu offers some great films to its subscribers. Check out the best movies on Hulu, whether you're into charming adventure tales or gruesome horror stories.
Movies & TV

Stay inside this fall with the best shows on Hulu, including 'Castle Rock'

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we've put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.