Ridley Scott did it. JJ Abrams did it. James Cameron is doing it.
Referring to, of course, the current trend of doing a direct sequel to a classic film umpteen years later. In the case of the “Blade Runner” sequel it was some 35 years later, “Star Wars” near just as long, and the upcoming “Terminator” sequel (said to be a direct continuation of 1991’s “Terminator 2 : Judgment Day”) will follow on from a feature now a quarter-century old. There’s even a “Top Gun” sequel – with Tom Cruise back as Maverick! – in the works for a 2019 release. I don’t think anyone saw that happening.
It’s as much to do with Hollywood’s current woody for nostalgia (reboots of every damn TV show of our youth are seemingly on the way too) as it is for the simple fact that audiences are over remakes, particularly when there’s still such strong interest in the original film (and their original casts). Now, rather than redo something, with a cast that likely won’t cut it, and a half-cocked script that likely won’t be a shade on the original, Hollywood are returning to the original (and the best) and giving audiences what they want.
Latest studio classic due for a tardy sequel is 1987’s “RoboCop”.
Sure, that film spawned two sequels, a TV series, mini-series and remake but let’s admit it, all of those paled in comparison to Paul Verhoeven’s bombastically-violent and brilliantly satirical original.
And when Peter Weller hung up the RoboCop suit after 1990’s “RoboCop 2”, most of us lost interest. Weller was, as far as the majority of fans were concerned, one of the best things about that series.
While it’s not known whether Weller will be back in the suit (very doubtful, at his age), word is that a Direct sequel to his “RoboCop” is in the scripting stages. In other words, we might finally get to see what happened to the best and most memorable incarnation of Officer Alex Murphy.
Ed Neumeier, writer of the original film (as well as “Starship Troopers”), says he’s been commissioned by MGM to write a new “RoboCop” movie. According to the famed sci-fi writer, the movie will be a “direct continuation” of the events of the original.
There’s no word on what that exactly means, but the scribe’s words suggest that the Murphy story continues.. in some capacity.
If this comes off, and if this is successful, might we one day live to see a direct sequel to Tim Burton’s “Batman” movies (with Michael Keaton?), maybe another Freddy Krueger movie – with the original and the best, Robert Englund, in the title role? And surely there’ll be interest in having Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner romance another stone!?