Little Monsters is currently on Hulu from director Abe Forsythe. Check it out and it may provide you with some insight as to what he could bring to the table for Robocop Returns according to a newsbreak on Wednesday from THR.
Founded on over-the-top violence and darkly satirical themes on politics and consumerism, Paul Verhoeven helmed Robocop, the 1987 original that starred Peter Weller in the title role as Alex Murphy, a Detroit cop brought back to life through a corporate-backed cybernetic program deeming him as “the future of law enforcement”. His value to the department and the city are soon put to the test when an anomaly triggers his memories (previously thought to be wiped), and his maverick investigation of his death puts him face-to-face with not only a murderous gang and its heinous leader, but the corrupt auspices that tried to take his humanity.
Currently envisioned as a sequel to that film, Robocop Returns once had Neill Blomkamp (District 9, Chappie) attached as of last summer before he nixed the project back in August. Forsythe is also rewriting the script previously penned by Justin Rhodes and original Robocop creative duo Ed Neumier and Michael Miner; Neumier and Miner are also producing along with Atlas Entertainment’s Richard Suckle.
While Robocop Returns looks to ante-up Forsythe’s resumé some, there’s no escaping that it may have a ways to go in proving itself as a viable contender in today’s film climate; Tim Miller’s Terminator: Dark Fate, also a direct sequel to one of its earlier films, is one of several franchise entries to suffer at the box office this month, leaving to question if old IP still has some life left. Examples of reboots and sequels like Jumanji and Jurassic World may bode positively to that sort of query given their successes at the box office, and it will also help that critics receptive to Forsythe’s treatment altogether.
The franchise has become a multimedia and merchandising success story both on-and-off screen with video games, toys and TV shows. Prior to Returns, MGM did attempt to revamp Robocop with Jose Padilha at the helm to little avail at the time. Despite this, the interest continued to show itself through crowd appearances at conventions, in addition to increased interested by fans in an upcoming fan-funded extenuating Robocop documentary by Christopher Griffiths who is screening a 35-minute preview of his film at For The Love Of Sci-Fi in Manchester next month.
In the wake of franchise fatigue amidst an unsure film millieu, Robocop Returns could very well be what the doctor ordered, and I’ll buy that for a few more dollars if need be.