RoboCop Returns Has a New Director Who Knows a Thing or Two About Bringing People Back From the Dead

Nice shootin’, son.
Image: Orion Pictures

Terminator: Dark Fate didn’t exactly set the box office on fire, but its tactic of ignoring certain franchise entries and calling itself a direct sequel (see also: 2018's Halloween) still holds tons of promise. Now RoboCop is moving forward with its own long-teased attempt at this, with an intriguing new director.

Australian director Abe Forsythe, who made the Lupita Nyong’o zombie comedy Little Monsters and obviously has the necessary stomach for cinematically gushing gore, has just come aboard the project, according to the Hollywood Reporter. RoboCop fans will already know that he’s filling the vacancy left by Neill Blomkamp, who tweeted in June that the script was being written, but then updated in August to say he’d moved on to work on another film, for timing reasons.

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There have already been multiple sequels to Paul Verhoeven’s dystopian satire—about an officer who’s killed in the line of duty, then revived by the shady mega-corporation that’s funding the Detroit police department—and not all of them are terrible (though the 2014 reboot starring Joel Kinnaman certainly is). RoboCop Returns has long been positioned as a follow-up to the 1987 original, and MGM is sticking with that plan.

The Hollywood Reporter broke the Forsythe news, confirming that “the project is being developed as a direct sequel to the original movie released in 1987 by Orion,” and that among its producers will be Edward Neumeier and Michael Miner, who co-wrote the 1987 original. The trade also notes that Forsythe will be re-writing the script by Justin Rhodes (who was one of many screenwriters who worked on Dark Fate) and Neumeier and Miner that was originally going to be filmed by Blomkamp.

There’s no timeline on when RoboCop might be returning to the big screen (or whether there’ll be a role for the fantastic Nyong’o, hint hint), but things appear to be moving full speed ahead for the beloved franchise. And the less we say about that recent KFC ad campaign, the better.

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