Around these parts, we’re pretty stoked for Neill Blomkamp’s upcoming robot saga Chappie. Even if we didn’t love his last picture, Elysium, he has a fantastic visual sense, and his debut, District 9, ranks up there among our favorite recent sci-fi pictures. And it’s about robots, which you probably noticed, we’re quite fond of. The film features a strong cast, including Dev Patel, Hugh Jackman, and Sigourney Weaver, but in an unusual bit of casting, it also stars Yolandi Vi$$er and Ninja, better known as South African rap-rave duo Die Antwoord. It’s a move that has raised some eyebrows, but this new featurette digs into the choice and the influence of the two musicians.
In this behind-the-scenes look, they talk about their style, known as Zef, which involves a lot of street swagger and an I-don’t-give-a-fuck attitude. It’s easy to see why Blomkamp, also a South African, would choose them to lend an air of authenticity and organic credibility to his latest endeavor.
Blomkamp says he had the idea for a story where this particular band, with their various distinctive proclivities, raised an artificially intelligent robot. If you’re wondering what the hell that would look like, it sounds like Chappie is going to give you a pretty good idea. Weaver stopped by The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon the other night to talk about the film (as well as Blomkamp’s upcoming Alien movie), and spoke about how this situation turns into an unlikely parent/child relationship, one where they try to teach a childlike robot how to be gangster #1.
As the duo plays fictionalized versions of themselves, Die Antwoord’s style and aesthetic also plays a huge part in the overall appearance of the film. You see how this manifests itself in the set design and look of their lair. Watching this video, you also get a good sense of the connection that develops between the two musicians and their stolen robot, which you have to imagine plays a central part in the narrative.
Chappie hits theaters on March 6.