District 9 director, Neill Blomkamp, has joined game developer Gunzilla Games as the company’s chief visionary officer – an unusual long-term role that will see him work on the studio’s unrevealed multiplayer shooter game.
Blomkamp, who is best known for his work on District 9 and Elysium, strongly believes that video games are becoming what movies were in the 20th century – a dominant form of cultural entertainment. According to IGN, the creative visionary is an avid gamer who wanted to establish a “home base” in creating games for a really long time, hence joining the newly formed Gunzilla Games studio. Blomkamp explained that his directorial skills would be used to guide the studio’s debut game forward in design, audio, and storytelling narratives.
Admittedly, the South African director would perhaps make a good video game creator, given his history with visual effects and 3D graphics. For those unfamiliar with his work, before writing District 9, Blomkamp started working in the film industry as a special effects artist and 3D animator. His animation credits include 1998’s Stargate SG-1, which is getting its spin-off video game, by the way, 1998’s First Wave, 1998’s Mercy Point, and 1999’s Aftershock: Earthquake in New York. But those were all cinematic and television releases, with no video game titles insight.
Well, the situation changed in 2007, when Blomkamp directed a trilogy of live-action short films, collectively known as Landfall, set in the Halo universe, to promote the release of Halo 3. You can see one of the Landfall shorts from the District 9 director below.
The exceptional job the District 9 director did on Landfall warranted the attention of Peter Jackson, and the two started working on a cinematic adaptation of the Halo video games series – the very first feature-length film Blomkamp was supposed to direct. Unfortunately, the pre-production for the Halo cinematic project was a nightmare, according to Blomkamp himself, which only disintegrated the relationship between the director and the 20th Century Fox, and the project fell into cold water.
When the funding for the Halo adaptation collapsed, Peter Jackson decided to produce District 9 instead, which was an adaptation of Blomkamp’s previous short film Alive in Joburg. The movie was written and directed by Blomkamp himself, and released in mid-August 2009, to widespread critical acclaim, incredibly commercial success, and tons of political controversy. District 9 was later nominated for the 2010 Academy Award for Best Picture, along with several nominations, warranting the release of a sequel, which was regarded as a dead project for a long time. Luckily for the fans of the film, the District 9 sequel is happening.
Blomkamp’s role at Gunzilla Games will be a long-term one, and his sole focus at the company, at least right now, is to work on the company’s debut title, an unrevealed AAA multiplayer shooter. There’s very little detail about the project right now, but it will most certainly stand out, considering that it’s made by some of the most prominent people in the gaming industry. Gunzilla Games, founded last year, comprises former EA, Ubisoft, and Crytek developers, meaning that the fandom can expect some high-quality gaming titles from the company. Now that Neill Blomkamp joined the team, we might finally get a District 9 video game.