robocop Neill Blomkamp

RoboCop is getting ready to patrol the streets of Detroit once again!

As confirmed by the Hollywood Reporter, Neill Blomkamp has been tapped by MGM to take the helm of a new ‘RoboCop’ film. Dubbed ‘RoboCop Returns’, the film is based on a script by original ‘RoboCop’ writers Edward Neumeier and Michael Miner.

The film will mark Neumeier and Miner’s first contribution to the franchise since their script for the original 1987 film. The two “proper” sequels, 1990’s ‘RoboCop 2′ and 1993’s RoboCop 3’, were both written by comic book auteur Frank Miller to diminishing returns. (The less said about Jose Padilha’s 2014 reboot, the better.) In fact, given his prior work, particularly ‘District 9’ and ‘Elysium‘, Blomkamp may well be just the person to restore the satirical edge that made the first film so unique.

‘RoboCop Returns’ has been described by Neumeier as “a continuation of the first movie,” suggesting that it will take the revisionist approach of ignoring the prior sequels.  Neumeier and Miner’s original screenplay is currently being rewritten by Justin Rhodes, who recently co-wrote Tim Miller’s upcoming ‘Terminator’ sequel.

Directed by Paul Verhoeven, the original ‘RoboCop’ tells the story of Alex Murphy, a Detroit police officer who is murdered by gang members and quite literally rebuilt by the megacorporation OCP as RoboCop, a cybernetic police officer with (at least initially) no memory of his former life. In typical Verhoeven style, the film is not only a bone-crunching action movie, but a scathing social commentary, dealing with a litany of themes that includes Reaganomics, gentrification, privatization of public services, and mass media.

What do you think of Blomkamp’s involvement with ‘RoboCop Returns’? Is he a good choice? Are you eager to see what he brings to the franchise? Let us know in the comments and be sure to check back with ScienceFiction.com for more on ‘RoboCop Returns’ as it becomes available!