MGM has announced that their planned Robocop sequel shall be helmed by District 9 director Neill Blomkamp, Deadline reports.
Sadly, with the modern film industry treating old intellectual properties in a similar vein to CliffyB’s new game ideas, I have to clarify that this is not a sequel to the 2014 RoboCop movie. It is going to be a sequel to the original RoboCop, though whether this means it will also be a sequel to RoboCop II and RoboCop III is still an open question. Perhaps it will just go the way of the Terminator series and decide that canon is whatever the fuck it tells you it is, no take-backsies.
Doesn’t it make you long for the days when canon and continuity were simple? What order are the Rocky films? Easy, just look at the posters and learn how to read Roman numerals. It feels that as comic-book films have exploded in popularity, they have dragged the enduring problem of continuity from superhero comics and now we all have to suffer with it.
Anyway, tirade over. So Neill Blomkamp is directing a new RoboCop movie? Who is this Neill? The bloke from Art Attack? That sonovabitch who could design the iconic costume out of six toilet rolls and half a Pritt Stick? Sadly no, but he did direct District 9 (yay!), Elysium (booo), and also Chappie (I haven’t seen it but the collective opinion seems to be “lol”). Neill Blomkamp seems to be a competent director with a bad eye for scripts. He seems to want to flood his movies with social commentary, but often it is very simple and surface level. In District 9, the prawns are treated badly, just like black South Africans under apartheid, get it? Eh? In Elysium, rich people are bad. Are you still following? Blomkamp’s films are full of nuanced, developed and not at all childishly simple themes such as these.
Now, piss-taking aside, Blomkamp’s blatant social commentary might actually be a good fit for a RoboCop sequel. Verhoeven’s classic 1987 RoboCop was chocked full of social commentary and satire, directly criticising the era of Reaganomics, consumerism, and corporatization. The difference is, though, that RoboCop does so with a sense of humor, which is something I have yet to see Blomkamp attempt to do (Ed Note: Yeah, you definitely haven’t seen Chappie).
Some good news, however, is that this film is based on a script by the original writers of RoboCop, and they are also producing the new film. Blomkamp has also stated his love for the original, so hopefully, we will get a fun enjoyable RoboCop, and not just Elysium 2.0: Detroit Edition…
Wait, a RoboCop devoid of any personality and humor? Are we certain that Blomkamp didn’t direct the 2014 remake?