Neill Blomkamp will direct RoboCop Returns, the fifth film in the RoboCop franchise, Deadline reported on Wednesday. Produced by MGM, RoboCop Returns will be a sequel to Paul Verhoeven’s 1987 satirical science fiction film RoboCop.
The cyberpunk films are centred on Detroit police officer Alex Murphy, whom a powerful corporation transforms into the cyborg Robocop after he is injured in the line of duty. Armed with enhanced abilities, Murphy battles crime in a corrupt city.
The original film was followed by Irvin Kershner’s RoboCop 2 in 1990 and Fred Dekker’s RoboCop 3 in 1993. The series was rebooted in 2014 with Jose Padilha’s RoboCop, starring Joel Kinnamen.
According to the Deadline report, the screenplay for the latest installment, by Terminator screenwriter Tom Miller, will refurbish the script that Ed Neumeier and Michael Miner wrote several years ago as a sequel to Verhoeven’s film. That story never materialised, and the 1990 sequel was scripted by Frank Miller.
Neumeier and Miner have come on board as producers for RoboCop Returns, in their first creative association with the franchise since they created it in 1987, Deadline said.
Blomkamp made his directorial debut in 2009 with the Oscar-nominated District 9. Since then, he has directed Elysium (2013) and Chappie (2015).
Blomkamp told Deadline that the original RoboCop had a “massive impact” on him as a child. “What I connected to as a kid has evolved over time,” he said. “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... 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.”