Should Neill Blomkamp Make District 10? Or are some things better left unsaid?
Neill Blomkamp has been a very busy boy as of late. His next film Elysium is currently gearing up for its theatrical release next month, and as such he has been busy promoting it. For those who didn’t know, Blomkamp actually got his start in the film industry thanks to a short film called Alive In Joburg that he made on a shoe string budget. Peter Jackson saw this film and was mightily impressed, approaching him to direct a film adaptation of Halo that Jackson was producing at the time. Blomkamp jumped at the chance as he was incredibly passionate about the franchise and spent nearly two years working incredibly hard on it, for it only to fall apart due to producer interference.
Jackson was saddened to see the young and clearly talented filmmaker experience such intense heartbreak that he quickly fostered his talents by giving him the money to make a feature length version of his original Alive In Joburg short. District 9 was born.
District 9 went on to wow audiences, critics, and Hollywood executives alike, making waves in the industry for Blomkamp and essentially granting him a lot of really cool opportunities. In an extensive interview recently Blomkamp went on to talk about his career and life thus far as well as his future projects and how he feels about the film industry.
Due to the pain that he went through with the Halo production he has said that he is no longer interested in working on major franchises and adapting well known established properties because they are too complicated, instead choosing to focus on original projects of his own. Before tackling Elysium, Blomkamp revealed that he was approached tentatively by Simon Kinberg – who’s producing and writing X-Men: Days Of Future Past and developing standalone Star Wars spinoffs – and offered the opportunity of directing a Star Wars movie, which he firmly turned down. On the one hand it’s a small shame that he won’t consider taking on a series such as Star Wars, where his skills and talents could definitely be put to use and actually give people a reason to take the film franchise seriously again. However, when the “downside” of this is that we get more original work from the young mastermind, it’s hard to complain.
The other major piece of news that has come out from this interview is about the projects that Blomkamp currently has lined up for the future. After Elysium the director will be shooting a science fiction film called Chappie later this year (another feature length version of one of his older shorts) and after that he is hoping to work on a puppet driven comedy entitled Mild Oats. Both projects sound intriguing and it will be a real test for the filmmaker to see if he can switch from his often very dark and serious science fiction pictures into comedy (likely with a wry twist).
Chappie is an Office Space-esque spoof featuring a hard working robot office worker. You can check it out in it’s original form above.
Blomkamp has also revealed that he has completed his first treatment of District 10, the gestating sequel to District 9. As with anything in Hollywood, when a film sees success there is always a push for a sequel, both from hungry executives and audiences, but I am of the few that believe quite strongly that there should never be a sequel to District 9. The film concludes with a rather bleak, with a slight sliver of hope discussion about the reality of the alien’s return and whether they ever will. It’s clear that their technology is far superior to us and if the aliens trapped on our planet are just drones, what happens when you bring the army? Some questions are better left unanswered in this writer’s opinion.
The only thing that Blomkamp has said about the treatment thus far is that it’s “really fucking cool” and that’s likely all we’ll hear from it for a long time now. Despite my own personal doubt, I have faith that Blomkamp could make it work, though I would rather he focus on making more original projects.