Robocop Returns back on track with Little Monsters director Abe Forsythe
After MGM’s Robocop Returns lost District 9‘s Neill Blomkamp earlier this year, the attempt to reboot the sci-fi action franchise is back up and running as Little Monsters director Abe Forsythe has signed on to helm the project, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The 38-year-old Australian helmer’s previous films before the Lupita Nyong’o horror comedy include the 2003 film Ned (about the Ned Kelly gang) and 2016’s Down Under about the Cronulla race riots.
Returns marks another attempt to capitalize on the direct sequel frenzy sweeping Hollywood right now, with 2018’s Halloween finding major critical and commercial success while this year’s Terminator: Dark Fate received mixed-to-positive reviews but is tanking at the box office.
Richard Suckle of Atlas Entertainment is set to produce the reboot alongside Ed Neumier and Michael Miner, the screenwriters of the original film and credited as its co-creators. The script will be an amalgamation of an original draft penned by Nuemier and Miner and Justin Rhodes, who provided work on Dark Fate‘s script, with Forsythe currently set to provide rewrites in addition to directing.
Paul Verhoeven’s original 1987 classic RoboCop starred Peter Weller as Officer Alex Murphy, who is brutally killed in the line of duty and ultimately resurrected as the cyborg crime fighter. The film garnered $53 million at the box office and three Oscar nominations, winning one for sound effects editing. Weller returned for the 1990 sequel RoboCop 2, directed by Irvin Kershner (The Empire Strikes Back) from a screenplay co-written by comics scribe Frank Miller, which grossed $45 million and was not as well received.
There was a RoboCop 3 that was set to hit theaters in 1991, sans Peter Weller in the title role, although it wasn’t released until 1993 due to the bankruptcy of Orion Pictures. Fred Dekker’s more kid-friendly PG-13 entry died at the box office after raking in a mere $10 million. A big-budget RoboCop remake was developed in the 2000s with Darren Aronofsky, who left the project which was ultimately helmed by Jose Padilha. It came out in 2014, grossing $242 million worldwide but was poorly received.