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Robocop Returns director Neill Blomkamp is off the project, but leaves fans with a message of hope

Robocop Returns Neill Blomkamp
(Image credit: MGM)

Neill Blomkamp is no longer directing the long-standing Robocop sequel. Titled Robocop Returns, the movie was supposed to follow directly on from the events of the 1987 original starring Peter Weller but MGM, the studio behind the franchise, reportedly won’t wait around for Blomkamp. The South African director, meanwhile, has something else to keep him occupied: he will now helm what’s described as a “new horror/thriller.”

Blomkamp took to Twitter earlier today to reveal the news. He said “Off Robocop. I am shooting new horror/thriller and MGM can’t wait/need to shoot Robocop now,” before leaving fans with hope that Robocop Returns isn’t dead, “Excited to watch it in theaters with other fans.”

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The director, who can count the likes of District 9 (opens in new tab) and Elysium (opens in new tab) on his resume, joined the Robocop sequel back in July 2018. 

At the time, The Hollywood Reporter (opens in new tab) stated it would ignore the two lukewarm Robocop sequels of the ‘90s, as well as the 2014 reboot, and serve as a continuation of the story provided by the 1980s sci-fi classic. As of writing, MGM has provided no update about a replacement director.

Robocop Returns serves as the latest in a series of franchises that Blomkamp has been attached to but has ultimately seen plans fall by the wayside. A Halo movie, produced by Peter Jackson, saw its funding eventually fall through, while a Sigourney Weaver-starring Alien sequel (first mooted in 2015) was also canned.

Details about Blomkamp’s new film – the horror/thriller mentioned in his original tweet – haven’t yet been released.

Oh, what could have been. In the meantime, comfort yourself with our list of the 25 best sci-fi movies (opens in new tab).

I'm the Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.