Whatever you may think of his work, you certainly can’t accuse South African auteur Neill Blomkamp of being anything less than a fan-friendly director. That’s likely because he is, at the end of the day, one of us, a fact that was on full display during the time he spent working on an aborted ‘Alien’ film. That film – from which Blomkamp shared a plethora of concept art – would have been a direct sequel to ‘Aliens’, overwriting the… less beloved ‘Alien 3’ and ‘Alien: Resurrection’ and reintroducing Michael Biehn as Hicks.
All of that is to say that his sensibilities are very much in line with those of the average fan of eighties sci-fi/action movies. Indeed, while it wouldn’t be unreasonable to compare the ideas Blomkamp floated for his ‘Alien’ film to fanwank, it’s hard to argue that if the execution was even halfway decent it would’ve gone over better with fans than the last several installments. So when it was announced that Blomkamp was taking the helm of ‘RoboCop Returns’ – itself a sequel-ignoring follow up – there was no small amount of rejoicing. After all, none of the ‘RoboCop’ sequels ever quite lived up to the original classic (the less said about the remake, the better).
Those cheers got even louder when Blomkamp made clear that he wanted Peter Weller to return to the title role. There’s just one problem: Weller himself may not be quite so keen to return. According to Marcos Melendez of SuperBroMovies, Wellers representatives have confirmed that the now seventy-one year old actor isn’t interested in revisiting the iconic character. Given his age, it’s certainly hard to blame him for thinking twice about signing on to play such a physical part (Weller reportedly lost up to three pounds a day because of how hot and heavy the original RoboCop suit was). Though it’s also possible that Weller has not been formally approached and/or that no deal has been struck if he has been. In either case, his representatives would likely still deny his involvement as a matter of professional decorum. Or this could be exactly the disappointing news that it appears to be. The film is still early in development, so until there’s an official statement from the studio, there’s no harm is remaining hopeful.
If Peter Weller, in fact, is out of the running, who would you like to see play RoboCop? Let us know in the comments and be sure to check back with ScienceFiction.com for more on ‘RoboCop Returns’ as it becomes available!