The Reason A TV Series And Not A Proper Sequel Followed ‘RoboCop 3’ Is Rather Simple

RoboCop Skyvision
It's not a bird. It's not a plane. It's Commander Cash (Roddy Piper) he sees in RoboCop season 1 episode 14 "RoboCop vs. Commander Cash" (1994), Skyvision Entertainment

Amazon Studios is one of the undisputed bigwigs in Hollywood today who owns some major IPs or has some at their fingertips through dealmaking. Owning the timeless brand of MGM puts a few at the ready and one they claim they are working on is RoboCop.

Robocop makes an entrance
Peter Weller is on duty in RoboCop (1987), Orion Pictures

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Possibilities for putting the resurrected cyborg back on duty include a new movie and a series, which has been done numerous times before. You may remember the animated series that marketed an R-rated character to kids – it was a very, very different time.

You might also recall – or rather forget – the Prime Directives TV movies that came and went, but that wasn’t the only attempt to give the franchise a new life on the small screen. There was one other that immediately followed the third film, and carried on its change in tone for the series.

Robocop-Buy that for a dollar
Bixby Snyder (SD Nemeth) utters the famous “I’d buy that for a dollar” line in RoboCop (1987), Orion Pictures

In 1994, the screenwriting team that gave us the first film, Ed Neumeier and Michael Miner, came back for a TV show. They were in, though Peter Weller stayed away much as he did for RoboCop 3, and soap opera actor Richard Eden was in as a tamer Alex Murphy.

How did that happen? How is it that the original writers collaborating again led to toned-down violence purged of gore that was more MacGyver than killer android? And why wasn’t there a fourth movie?

Aside from the obvious (kids being the target audience), the answer boiled down to money. Orion Pictures, producers of RoboCop, was going bankrupt and sold off the rights to some assets – which was the style at the time (ask Marvel).

Executive Facepalm
Dan O’Herlihy can’t believe what he sees in RoboCop 2 (1990), Orion Pictures

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As Variety reported back in the day, the production company Skyvision came calling from the Great White North, exclaiming, “I’d buy that for a dollar!” The rest – to use the old cliche – was history. 

The series lasted a single syndicated season of 22 episodes and meant the end of plans for RoboCop 4, but it wasn’t a total loss. Miner and Neumeier got to recycle ideas from their unmade sequel script, such as a holographic love interest for Murphy.

Richard Eden-Robocop
Richard Eden as Alex Murphy in RoboCop season 1 episode 1 “The Future of Law Enforcement,” (1994), Skyvision Entertainment

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“RoboCop has a relationship with a personality inside a computer that we were hypothesizing a lot like the internet,” Miner told Superhero Hype in 2014

“It’s kind of a love story between the individual android and a big controlling computer. That was an interesting story that I think is better than RoboCop 2 or 3. I think people should check that out,” he added.

Critical malfunction
A failed experiment in RoboCop 2 (1990), Orion Pictures

To do so, you can find RoboCop the TV series on Peacock.

NEXT: RoboCop Prequel TV Series in Development – Will Not Feature RoboCop!

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