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Peter T Chattaway

RoboCop Returns

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Links to our threads on the original trilogy (1987-1993) and the reboot (2014).

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Neill Blomkamp To Direct New ‘RoboCop’ For MGM; Justin Rhodes Rewriting Sequel Script By Creators Ed Neumeier & Michael Miner
EXCLUSIVE: MGM is developing a new installment of RoboCop and has set District 9 director Neill Blomkamp to helm the picture, which is titled RoboCop Returns. The studio hopes to revive a franchise that began with the Paul Verhoeven-directed satirical sci-fi action thriller that Orion released in 1987. Original writers Ed Neumeier and Michael Miner are producing and exec producing, respectively. Justin Rhodes, who co-wrote the Terminator film that Tim Miller is shooting, will rewrite the script that Neumeier and Miner wrote years ago as a planned sequel to Verhoeven’s hit, an installment that never happened. That duo is creatively involved in moving forward their creation for the first time since the original.  . . .
The plot: anarchy reigns and the fate of Detroit hangs in the balance as RoboCop makes his triumphant return to fight crime and corruption. . . .
Why wasn’t this sequel story told years ago?
Neumeier and Miner sold the original as a spec script and Orion’s Mike Medavoy, emboldened by the success of Platoon, got heavily behind it. Neumeier and Miner got paid a paltry sum upfront, but eight points of producer profits fattened their wallets. The inspiration was classic Westerns with leading man of few words, namely John Wayne in The Searchers and Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry. . . .
The original grossed over $50 million and got three Oscar noms including a win for Best Sound Effects Editing. Despite this, and even though Neumeier and Miner had written a worthy followup in the spirit of the original, their sequel didn’t happen for several reasons.
“Verhoeven felt at the time that making one would be de classe and he wasn’t interested in the politics of a sequel, “Neumeier told Deadline. “Then, the writers strike came along in 1988 and we were force majeured off the project. They brought in Frank Miller on a waiver. He wrote a draft and then another with Walon Green, and it got made by Irvin Kershner, who directed The Empire Strikes Back. I went off and did Startship Troopers with Paul.”
It came back around when he got a call from MGM president Jon Glickman, tasked with creating franchise material for that studio. “Right when Trump was about to be elected president he called me and said, ‘Did you actually predict in your sequel script that a reality star would run for president and win?’ We had. 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.” . . .
Deadline.com, July 11

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