It’s strike two in Neill Blomkamp’s quest to fix great movie franchises with retcon sequels. First, his Aliens sequel fell apart when Ridley Scott decided he was more interested in pursuing the prequel angle of the story and now it looks like he is no longer attached to direct the proposed Robocop Returns sequel that would serve as a direct sequel to the original film. The good news is that, unlike the Aliens film, at least Robocop Returns is still happening.
Here’s how Blomkamp, the director who first rose to fame with District 9, broke the news to fans on Twitter:
This is in stark contrast to when he first spoke to Deadline about joining the project:
“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. What I connected to as a kid has evolved over time. 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 other thing I am excited by is the chance to work again with Justin Rhodes. He has added elements that are pretty awesome, to a sequel that was set in the world of Verhoeven. This is a movie I would love to watch.”
There’s no current word on who will be replacing Neill in the director’s seat. As soon as we know, we’ll update you here.