Gran Turismo director Neill Blomkamp says his Robocop sequel, Robocop Returns, would have been a direct sequel to the original.
When Neill Blomkamp (District 9, Chappie) was named the director of Sony’s Gran Turismo, fans of the time-honored racing video game franchise rejoiced. Blomkamp’s unique approach to filmmaking is known for bringing style, eye popping visuals, and excitement to the playing field. With an inspiring story at its foundation, Gran Turismo could become a stand-out for racing cinema in a time when movies like Ford v Ferrari, Michael Mann’s Ferrari, and the Fast and the Furious franchise offer thrills on and off the track. Imagine Blomkamp applying that level of care and detail to Robocop, a fan-favorite franchise in dire need of a reboot or sequel worth celebrating. While speaking with Blomkamp for Gran Turismo, we asked the filmmaker about the defunct Robocop Returns, a would-be sequel to Paul Verhoeven’s 1987 original.
While talking to Blomkamp about his approach to Robocop Returns, he said his version would have emulated Verhoeven’s style, keeping things as accurate to form as possible.
“That’s the only film that I would have ever done where I would have tried to basically simulate Paul Verhoeven’s directing style,” said Blomkamp. “I wanted it to be like the day after. If Dick Jones had fallen out of the window Monday, then this would have been on Tuesday. It was literally the next day that it started. So it was a direct sequel exactly in the same style.”
Unfortunately, since Amazon purchased MGM, Robocop Returns got dismantled, and Blomkamp believes his version will never happen. In 2019, Blomkamp told Entertainment Weekly that Verhoeven’s Robocop had “a massive effect” on him as a kid. With so many years to ruminate on his approach to the dystopian material, fans can only imagine what his Robocop sequel could have been.
Robocop Returns is based on a sequel concept the original Robocop writers, Ed Neumeier and Michael Miner, wrote after the 1987 original’s release. Years later, Justin Rhodes (Terminator: Dark Fate, Grassroots, Contract Killers) brushed up the script for Blomkamp’s version. Sadly, Blomkamp gives us the impression that Robocop Returns has gone the way of the dodo, and we may never see his take on Officer Alex James Murphy’s future as the law-upholding robot with pinpoint accuracy.