Neill Blomkamp is going to direct the sequel to the 2014 Robocop reboot.
The news was announced on Twitter by MGM Studios and then confirmed by Blomkamp himself shortly after. Aside from revealing the District 9 director was helming the project, MGM also announced that the screenplay for the film will be penned by Ed Neumeier and Michael Miner – the writers behind the original film.
Joel Kinnaman will return in the title role. Believe us when we tell you there is a lot to unpack here…
— MGM Studios (@MGM_Studios) July 11, 2018
Leaving aside the fact that the Robocop franchise isn’t dead in the water – given the disastrous critical reception the reboot received – the fact that Neumeier and Miner are on board should give ardent Robocop fans a reason to be very optimistic.
The pair wrote the superb 1987 film and had plans in place for a sequel and had even drafted a script, but their ideas were scrapped in favour for the screenplay that eventually was made as Robocop 2 back in 1990. Anyone who watched that film will have dismissed it for the garbage that it was.
The original idea that Neumeier and Miner had for Robocop 2 involved a scenario in which a reality TV star became president of the United States. It’s apparently this idea that kicked off plans for the new Robocop sequel.
“Right when Trump was about to be elected president [MGM president Jon Glickman] called me and said, ‘Did you actually predict in your sequel script that a reality star would run for president and win?’ We had,” Neumeier told Deadline.
“So Mike and I wrote a draft and gave one interview in Barbados and I think the only person who read it was Neill Blomkamp, and that set this in motion.”
To be honest, Neumeier’s and Miner’s idea shouldn’t come as a shock. After all, the original Robocop predicted a future where public utilities were being sold off to corporate entities, news was reduced to meaningless five-minute soundbytes and business in the USA was gleefully corrupt. When it comes to being prescient, these guys have form.