Just like Alex Murphy, the venerable RoboCop franchise is being brought back to life. Amazon has targeted it as one of the IPs it intends to revive, after acquiring its owner MGM last year.
Deadline reports that Amazon is working on revivals of a slew of the intellectual properties it now owns after buying the century-old studio MGM, including Legally Blonde, Stargate, and Barbershop. The cyberpunk action franchise RoboCop, which has been largely dormant since a 2014 Joel Kinnaman-starring remake was a critical disappointment, has been targeted to be adapted for both TV and film. A TV series is farther along in development, and would likely be released first.
Released in 1987 to little fanfare, RoboCop was a hit with both audiences and critics. Featuring the over-the-top satirical sensibilities of director Paul Verhoeven and a nuanced lead performance from Peter Weller, the film told the story of Alex Murphy, a police officer in a near-future Detroit. Killed in the line of duty, he was revived as the cyborg crime-fighter RoboCop by the sinister Omni Consumer Products corporation. Over the course of the film, Murphy attempts to reclaim his humanity with the help of his partner, Ann Lewis (Nancy Allen) while also seeking revenge on the gang that killed him, led by Clarence Boddicker (Kurtwood Smith), and Dick Jones (Ronny Cox), the corrupt executive who seeks to control his life. The film was followed by a number of sequels and spin-offs; two theatrical sequels, 1990’s RoboCop 2 and 1993’s RoboCop 3, the latter of which replaced Weller with Law & Order: Special Victims Unit‘s Robert John Burke; two Canadian-produced live-action TV series, 1994’s RoboCop and 2001’s RoboCop: Prime Directives; and, despite the extremely R-rated nature of the first RoboCop, two kid-aimed cartoon series, 1988’s RoboCop and 1998’s RoboCop: Alpha Commando. The franchise has also produced a number of comic books, action figures, and video games. None of them captured the verve, or the success, of Verhoeven‘s original film.
There have been numerous subsequent attempts to revive the series; District 9 helmer Neill Blomkamp was at one point attached to write and direct a sequel to the original film, RoboCop Returns; he eventually departed the project, which was then handed over to Little Monsters‘ Abe Forsythe before it descended into development hell. Darren Aronofsky was circling a remake at one point, as well, before moving on to direct Black Swan.
Stay tuned to Collider for future updates.