The first posters for Neill Blomkamp's Chappie have popped up around Comic-Con, and the film continues to intrigue with a cryptic mix of humor, science-fiction, gritty realism and children's narrative.
Neill Blomkamp quickly established himself as the wunderkind for gritty, realistic science fiction. District 9 was one of the most well-received sci-fi movies of recent years, and an incredible debut from a very talented individual (the movie was nominated for Best Picture at the 2009 Academy Awards). Last year’s Elysium was met with a lukewarm reception but still delivered an interesting premise, impressive visual effects, and tautly directed set-pieces for an otherwise uneven film.
The director himself has compared Chappie as a mix of RoboCop and E.T., which makes for a very interesting mixture indeed. Producer Simon Kinberg called it “the most provocative studio movie you’ll likely ever see.” Though Chappie does not have an official presence at this year’s Comic-Con, the posters and banners offer our first real glimpse of the style and tone. Here’s Sony’s official synopsis:
“After being kidnapped by two criminals during birth, Chappie becomes the adopted son in a strange and dysfunctional family. Chappie is preternaturally gifted, one of a kind, a prodigy. He also happens to be a robot.”
In an odd bit of casting, Chappie will showcase zef-style duo Ninja and ¥o-Landi Vi$$er of Die Antwoord (take a look at some of their work here) as themselves, in addition to frequent Blomkamp collaborator Sharlto Copley as the voice — and motion-captured performance — of Chappie (District 9, Elysium). The rest of the cast is a well-rounded assortment of international names, not least of which are Hugh Jackman (X-Men franchise), Sigourney Weaver (Aliens, Avatar), and Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire, The Newsroom).
The film was co-written by Terri Tatchell, based [somewhat] on Blomkamp’s short Tetra Vaal. The film was completed in 2003 and was about a faux advertisement for a third-world robotic police force. This three minute short film already showcased Blomkamp’s signature lo-fi production with state of the art visual effects to create a seamless mix of science-fiction and sociopolitical allegory.
Blomkamp promises strong visuals and plenty of comedy. “District 9, Elysium and Chappie were all born out of some visual concept first… Chappie is the imagery, because I think I’m a visual person first, of this ridiculous robot character. It’s much more comedy based, and in an unusual setting.” Though the film didn’t have any official presence at the SDCC, expect it in theaters on March 6th, 2015.
Are you interested in a sci-fi/comedy from the director of District 9?
Images: Sony, Youtube