News Neill Blomkamp to direct "RoboCop Returns"

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Kai "the spy", Jul 11, 2018.

  1. Kai "the spy"

    Kai "the spy" Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Some months ago, the news broke that the writers of the original RoboCop movie, Ed Neumeier & Michael Miner, were working on a new movie.

    This sequel to the original has now been officially announced by MGM with the title "RoboCop Returns", with writer Justin Rhodes doing re-writes on Neumeier & Miner's script. The original writers are still working as executive producers.

    As director, MGM has hired Neill Blomkamp.

    Deadline| Neill Blomkamp To Direct New 'RoboCop' For MGM

    While I had some hope for Verhoeven to return to the directing chair, as replacements go, Blomkamp is a pretty good one. Judging by his previous films "District 9", "Elysium" and "Chappie", he'll be a good fit to the underlying social commentary, dark humor and ultra-violence of RoboCop. Now, I'm actually cautiously optimistic about this.
     
  2. Owain Taggart

    Owain Taggart Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    So, is this a sequel to the 'original' or the reboot from a few years back? ;) Gonna guess the latter.

    I love Blomkamp's stuff. I feel he's one of the few unique voices in sci-fi currently producing stuff. I loved District 9, and I thought Chappie was also quite good. So, this could be interesting.
     
  3. Awesome Possum

    Awesome Possum Keeping TNZ Shiny! Moderator

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    It’s a perfect time too, pretty much everything about RoboCop came true except for RoboCop himself.

    I would hope they can get Peter Weller to come back. No one else ever managed to pull off anything close to his performance. He’s haunting in some scenes, like when he sees his face under the helmet for the first time and talks about being unable to remember his family despite still being able to feel them.
     
  4. Timby

    Timby Anyone who opposes me will be destroyed. Administrator

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    Weller's 71 and mostly retired, though. I very highly doubt he wants to get crammed into a bulky fiberglass suit or wear a motion-capture unitard.
     
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  5. Locutus of Bored

    Locutus of Bored SMOOTH CRIMINAL Moderator

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    Sharlto Copley as Robocop.

    "Dead or alive, you're fookin' coming with me!"
     
  6. kirk55555

    kirk55555 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm betting that Weller will get a cameo, or maybe a side role as the police chief or something, but I doubt he'll actually be Robocop.
     
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  7. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    I really liked the recent-ish Robocop reboot. I'm guessing that's gone the way of the last two Terminator films with regard to this upcoming one?
     
  8. Locutus of Bored

    Locutus of Bored SMOOTH CRIMINAL Moderator

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    I imagine they'll do a direct followup to the original and bypass the subsequent sequels and the reboot.
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    No, it apparently has nothing to do with the reboot. The article says it's a rewrite of Neumeier & Miner's unfilmed sequel script to the original movie. I wonder if that's the same Corporate Wars sequel script that was rewritten into "The Future of Law Enforcement," the 2-hour pilot of RoboCop: The Series, in 1993. That would make it kind of a remake.
     
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  10. Awesome Possum

    Awesome Possum Keeping TNZ Shiny! Moderator

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    There’s mention of the original script involving a reality TV star becoming President. I hope it’s the “I’d buy that for a dollar” guy.
     
  11. tharpdevenport

    tharpdevenport Admiral Admiral

    I was excited at the idea of a new sequel, ignoring the first two sequels (I seem to recall) and being written by the original film's writer's, but what this deal with Justin Rhodes re-writing parts?

    And who is he? Looking over his IMDb credits, it's like he came out of nowhere and suddenly he's getting to write on this and the Green Lantern film in the works.
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Rewriting scripts is a normal part of the process. No script is fixed and unchanging; rewrites can continue throughout filming and even afterward, with changes made in editing and dubbing. In a case like this, naturally there are things in a 30-year-old script that would need to be updated for modern sensibilities and knowledge, or for what we can do with film technology now. And of course, no two people will interpret the same artistic subject the same way; the director, producers, and execs doing this movie now will have different tastes and preferences from the ones the original script was written for, so of course they want revisions.


    I found this online: https://gointothestory.blcklst.com/q-a-screenwriter-justin-rhodes-second-sun-12c8b396e3ce

    A lot of people in the industry work mainly on smaller films or unmade screenplays before finally making it to something more prominent. What the general public sees is just the tip of the iceberg of what goes on in the business behind the scenes, so a writer or filmmaker who seems like an unknown to us may have been quietly building a reputation with producers and directors for years. After all, more than 99% of scripts that get written in Hollywood never actually get filmed, so a producer or director may see dozens of scripts from a writer that the general public has never heard of.
     
  13. Owain Taggart

    Owain Taggart Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Huh, that's interesting. That sounds even more promising to me.
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I'm not sure what I think about Blomkamp directing, though. I thought District 9 was brilliant, though more violent than I liked. Then Elysium came along and had the same level of violence but a really dumb story. And I didn't even see Chappie, since if the one consistent thing about Blomkamp's work (other than Sharlto Copley) is ultraviolence rather than intelligence, then that's not what I want in a director.

    True, RoboCop is known for its ultraviolence, but in the original film, the violence served a satirical purpose and was relatively restrained. RoboCop didn't kill indiscriminately, generally using extensive but still nonlethal force, except in situations where lethal force was unavoidable. He was hardly gentle, but he had more restraint and standards than the brutal society he inhabited, and that made a difference. It was RoboCop 2 that threw that out the window and made constant, gratuitously extreme violence an end in itself rather than a means to an end, and that was a large part of why it was so bad. I'm concerned that Blomkamp would be similarly overindulgent.
     
  15. Vger23

    Vger23 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think Blomkamp is pretty much a one-note talent to be honest. All his stuff looks and feels exactly the same to me. I thought D9 was ok, but had a terribly tedious ending. Elysium I barely made it through. I didn't bother with Crappy. I was actually thrilled when I heard his Alien project was dead.
     
  16. grendelsbayne

    grendelsbayne Commodore Commodore

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    I absolutely loved District 9, and I thought Chappie was quite good, too. It had a certain weird innocence to it that really made it feel unique. Having said that, though, both of them are very much in the same general wheelhouse and Elysium is basically just the worthless, generic, hollywoodified version of the same thing, so, yeah, Blomkamp is fairly one-note. But it's a note I can definitely see working with this property (moreso than it ever would've with Alien).
     
  17. EmoBorg

    EmoBorg Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I liked District 9, loved Elysium and disliked Chappie. Casting Die Antwoord in Chappie was a wrong move. Maybe Blomkamp can cast the duo as criminals who get killed or arrested by Robocop in the next movie.
     
  18. tharpdevenport

    tharpdevenport Admiral Admiral

    I'm not debating that, but looking back over my post, it's clear I should have explained myself much further:

    The first film is a classic. They hired the writers who wrote this classic, and now they're having somebody who has no connection with the classic film, re-writing parts of it? Isn't this something the two original writers can do? Surely they've done re-writes before.

    Indeed, but it's almost unheard of to make a leap from obscure projects to a famous franchise and a famous superhero characters. Usually these writers take stepping stones to awful bigger projects, more pedestrian potential hot films, etc.

    For me, this is like the person learning to be a runner and hoping to be in the Olympics going from running a mile to a year later being in the Iron Man competition.
     
  19. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Film writing isn't a solitary endeavor like novel writing. A film script is not a finished work in itself, just a plan for making a movie. So the writers of any film work in collaboration with the other people making it. Neumeier and Miner are the credited writers, yes, but as Neumeier relates in this interview, they got a lot of input into their evolving script drafts from Jon Davison, Paul Verhoeven, and others along the way. And the basic concept was itself an homage to Judge Dredd, essentially. So it was never exclusively just those two people's work.

    And there are any number of reasons why a given writer or pair of writers might not be available to work on a given project, even when they have a history with the franchise. Even if they did work on this sequel, they wouldn't be working on it alone. The standard Hollywood feature film writing process today routinely involves multiple drafts by multiple writers, most of whom aren't even credited. Ultimately, it's the director whose creative choices shape a movie, followed by the producers, and the writers are basically there to do their bidding. It's not a writer-driven industry like television. So the idea that any movie script would ever be sacrosanct and immune from revision is a fantasy. Hollywood just doesn't work that way.



    On the contrary, we've had a lot of recent superhero films from directors who had no prior blockbuster experience. The Russo Brothers worked mainly in television before they did Captain America. Before Iron Man, Jon Favreau's work included stuff like Elf and Zathura: A Space Adventure, whatever the hell that is. Rian Johnson's only "major" film pre-Star Wars was Looper. Before Godzilla and Rogue One, Gareth Edwards had only done a mid-budget indie film called Monsters. It happens all the time with directors, so why would it be unheard of for writers?

    Besides, what in the hell has fame got to do with quality? Like I said, only a fraction of a percent of the scripts that moviemakers read ever actually get filmed and released. What the public knows about screenwriters is the tip of the iceberg. There are probably plenty of writers in the industry doing brilliant, inspired work that filmmakers and executives have gotten to know but the general public has never gotten to see, because there are so many hurdles between script and film that most scripts never manage to surmount. So it makes no sense to treat fame as a relevant factor here.


    Even if that were a valid analogy -- which it absolutely is not, because you're confusing what you're personally aware of with what's actually getting done behind the scenes -- why would it be a bad thing if that happened? Why do you care more about fame and prestige than actual talent or ability?
     
  20. tharpdevenport

    tharpdevenport Admiral Admiral

    Input vs. re-writing by another person are two different things.

    That's true, but the point was made to let us know this unknown guy is re-writing it.

    It's just like a sitcom -- one or two people may be credited with the script, but there's a writer's room where pitches and lines are made and re-writes are done, but these folks typically never get credited.

    Which isn't something I even questioned or debated.



    "Recent" is neither a trend nor indicator of passed experience. If this is still happening a decade from now outside of the science fiction/fantasy/superhero films, it'll be something.

    I'm neither suggested fame was what it was all about nor that these writers are infallible, but they made the cult classic and they obviously knew what they were doing. These re-writes you speak of, that I have read about in the passed, are usually done by established people on big films/franchises/potential hot blockbusters. Granted, what I've known about may not be true across the board, but given the mis-teps on Robocop over and over and over again, you'd think a little more clamp down would be in order.


    That's irrelevant; we're not talking about hypothetical here -- the original film is already iconic.