Neill Blomkamp has the worst luck, it seems.
The District 9 director announced via his Twitter late last night that he will be departing MGM's RoboCop sequel due to scheduling conflicts. Blomkamp is hard at work on another horror/thriller, but MGM wants their robot hero back immediately.
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. N— Neill Blomkamp (@NeillBlomkamp) August 15, 2019
This news comes about a year after Blomkamp was first hired to helm the film. The planned sequel uses a script by RoboCop writers Ed Neumeier and Michael Miner, with rewrites from Justin Rhodes. This screenplay, written in the 1980s, was originally conceived as a sequel to the 1987 film, but never happened.
Of course, RoboCop has had sequels, video games, and TV adaptations already, as well as a poorly received 2014 remake. RoboCop Returns was reportedly going to wipe the slate clean and ignore all the other films, much like 2018's Halloween.
Many were excited to see what Blomkamp would do with the satirical cyberpunk property, especially since he has a pretty good handle on sci-fi and robots (although let's just forget Chappie ever happened). Blomkamp even talked about bringing back the original RoboCop, Peter Weller, to play the titular role.
MGM has not announced a replacement director as of yet.
Blomkamp fans might be used to this kind of news by now, since he also had an Alien sequel fall apart a few years ago. He continues to get work because he clearly has vision and some big, attractive ideas, but can't quite seem to click with studios.
This year, he released a short film, Conviction, as a prequel for a video game property.
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