It was announced in July 2018 that a new Robocop movie, titled Robocop Returns, was on the way, to be directed by District 9’s Neill Blomkamp. But it now looks like the film will need to find a new director, s Blomkamp has confirmed he has left the project.
Blomkamp announced his departure on Twitter. He explained that it was due to a scheduling conflict, as he is currently shooting a new horror movie and Robocop producers MGM “need to shoot Robocop now.” Check it out below:
Off Robocop. I am shooting new horror/thriller and MGM can’t wait/ need to shoot Robocop now. Excited to watch it in theaters with other fans. N
— Neill Blomkamp (@NeillBlomkamp) August 15, 2019
Robocop Returns is set to be a direct sequel to Paul Verhoeven’s 1987 original movie, rather than the 2014 remake. It’s being adapted by Terminator: Dark Fate writer Justin Rhodes from a script by Ed Neumeier and Michael Miner, who wrote the original film. However, despite Blomkamp stating that MGM want to make the film immediately, it does not yet have a release date or any confirmed cast.
This isn’t the first time Blomkamp has been attached to a high profile sci-fi sequel that ultimately didn’t happen. He was set to direct an Alien movie, which would’ve worked as a direct sequel to Aliens, with Sigourney Weaver and Michael Biehn reprising their roles from James Cameron’s classic. The movie was given a 2017 release date, but was delayed several times before being cancelled altogether.
The original Robocop was followed by two sequels. 1990’s Robocop 2 was a box office hit but was critically panned, while 1993’s Robocop 3 turned many fans off by aiming for a younger audience. There were also two short-lived TV shows in the 1990s, one live-action, the other animated. The 2014 remake was directed by José Padilha (Narcos) and starred Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, and Michael Keaton.