It’s not every day you get a second chance in Hollywood, but MGM is set to release a new RoboCop sequel, helmed by Little Monsters director Abe Forsythe, which will be a direct follow-up to the 1987 original.
The first RoboCop film, directed by Paul Verhoeven, starred Paul Weller as a cyborg super-cop enforcing the law in a dystopian version of Detroit. Part action, part satire, and with a sizable helping of gore, RoboCop became a hit, and is now regarded as an ’80s sci-fi classic.
But the film’s success led to sequels in 1990, 1993 and a remake in 2014, the last of which saw Joel Kinnaman step into the title role. None of these follow-ups managed to match the success of the original, and neither could its various TV spin-offs.
So it will come as a welcome revelation that the new sequel (tentatively titled Robocop Returns) will ignore the tangled web of plot developments, and simply follow on from where the original left off, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
In RoboCop, Weller played Alex J Murphy, a police officer who is robotically enhanced – becoming half machine – in order to save his own life. The metallic supercop then puts his powers into action, taking down common criminals and unraveling a fiendish conspiracy perpetrated by corrupt city officials.
Robocop Returns will adopt a similar approach to other recent franchise films like Terminator: Dark Fate, which ignored everything that came after the second Terminator film, or 2018’s Halloween, which sequel-ised John Carpenter’s original horror and left out the many others that came after.
It is a significant leap in ambition and responsibility for Forsythe, whose biggest film to date is this year’s Little Monsters, a low-budget zombie comedy starring Lupita Nyong’o and Josh Gad.
Ed Neumier and Michael Miner, the screenwriters and de facto co-creators of the original RoboCop, are expected to serve as producers on the new film.
Robocop Returns is still in the early stages of development, but the prospect of a second shot at continuing the original RoboCop storyline will have plenty of fans excited.