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SYFY WIRE Neill Blomkamp

Neill Blomkamp promises to 'emulate' Paul Verhoeven for RoboCop Returns film

By Josh Weiss
Peter Weller RoboCop

Last July, it was announced that Neill Blomkamp (District 9, Chappie) would helm a RoboCop sequel, titled RoboCop Returns, for MGM with the character's original creators, Ed Neumeier and Michael Miner, on board to write and produce the project. 

Recently speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Blomkamp talked about how he wants to strive to recreate the feeling of the 1987 original from director Paul Verhoeven (Total Recall, Starship Troopers).

“If I can be honest to what Paul Verhoeven did and almost try to emulate that in a way, then I feel like it does have value and we’re not doing it for the sake of just doing it, but there’s something in there that may have value for the audience," he said. 

Of course, Blomkamp is still totally passionate about ideas that are just too wonky for mainstream Hollywood, which is why he founded the production studio, Oats, in 2017. He won't conform to the mold completely, but he won't pass up things that are just too juicy, either. 

RoboCop is really cool because it’s something that had enough of an effect on me as a kid and it’s an environment that I would like to work inside of,” he said. “If awesome opportunities like RoboCop present themselves where the core ideas are not mine or Oats’ ideas, then that’s a really good way to interact with Hollywood and I can keep the more crazy, more personal ideas in the Oats realm.”

This will be the first RoboCop movie since the poorly-received remake/reboot in 2014, which was directed by José Padilha and starred Joel Kinnaman, Abbie Cornish, Michael Keaton, Gary Oldman, Jackie Earle Haley, Samuel L. Jackson, Jay Baruchel, and Michael Kenneth Williams. 

There's no set release date/window for RoboCop Returns just yet, but you won't have to hold your breath for more Blomkamp. Today, the South African filmmaker announced Conviction, a live-action prequel he directed for BioWare's upcoming Anthem video game. The short goes live on YouTube this Thursday, Feb. 14.