Director Neill Blomkamp leaves ‘RoboCop Returns’

Peter Weller in RoboCop (credit: MGM)
Peter Weller in RoboCop (credit: MGM)

It’s a tough life being a Neill Blomkamp fan. The director behind sci-fi classic District 9 has been attached to some of the most exciting projects around, only for them to fall through at the last minute. RoboCop Returns is just the latest example.

First it was Halo, then it was the Aliens sequel that would have ignored Alien 3 (which was ditched when Ridley Scott decided to make Prometheus and Alien: Covenant), and now it’s the RoboCop sequel that would have ignored everything after the original movie (including two sequels and a remake).

Read more: RoboCop sequel will resurrect classic robo-suit

The director announced the news on Twitter, saying: “Off Robocop. I am shooting new horror/thriller and MGM can’t wait/need to shoot Robocop now. Excited to watch it in theaters with other fans.”

It’s been around a year ago since MGM first announced Blomkamp would helm a version of the sequel original RoboCop writers (Ed Neumeier and Michael Miner) wrote in the ‘80s. The script was then re-written by one of Terminator: Dark Fate’s Justin Rhodes.

As for the plot, Minier described it to HN Entertainment in March. “We started this idea, about people who augment themselves surgically without the help of doctors, so it’s a real body horror idea.”

Read more: Original writer of RoboCop is penning a direct sequel

“And our villain was a Centaur-like freaky monster with a football helmet with spiraling horns coming out of it and we called him the mule. Justin didn’t go in that direction, but he was inspired by our steampunk body horror examples and hopefully, he’ll play that out as it should be.”

As recently as June, Blomkamp was still excited about the movie, saying it would be like “watching [Paul] Verhoeven do a follow up film.”

Right now, we’d like to see Blomkamp do basically any film - it’s been a long time since 2015’s underrated Chappie. Hopefully we’ll see his horror/thriller sooner rather than later.