In a few short weeks, Neill Blomkamp’s latest science fiction film, Elysium, will hit theaters across the country. Elysium is the long awaited follow-up to his Academy Award-nominated debut film, District 9. Although the film’s central story wraps up by the end of the movie, it seems like the tip of the iceberg when it comes to exploring Neill Blomkamp’s sci-fi take on South African history. A sequel has been rumored since District 9’s release in 2009, but until now Blomkamp has seemed too busy to work on the would-be District 10. Recently, however, the director said that he has completed an 18-page treatment for the District 9 sequel.
In a director’s profile from Wired, Blomkamp reveals that he wrote a new treatment for District 10 with his wife and writing partner, Terri Tatchell. Blomkamp didn’t divulge any details about the sequel’s storyline, but admits that District 10 is “really fucking cool.” It seems as if Neill Blomkamp isn’t fully committing to the project, but he wants to keep the door open for a District 9 sequel.
In the past, Blomkamp has said that he’s very interested in making a sequel to District 9, so this 18-page treatment is one small step toward seeing District 10 in theaters. The only question is, when? Hopefully District 10 will be Blomkamp’s follow-up to his upcoming sci-fi/comedy Chappie, but it appears that the South African director doesn’t want to spread himself too thin with other projects in the pipeline.
After Elysium hits theaters next month, the 33-year-old director plans to go back into production on the aforementioned Chappie. The science fiction comedy will star longtime collaborator Sharlto Copley (District 9, Elysium), Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire), and South African rappers Ninja and Yo-Landi Vi$$er, who make up the duo Die Antwoord. “If something is as smart as you, do you treat it differently if it isn’t a human?” says Blomkamp, adding that Chappie is an action comedy, essentially… but with heart? “It’s fairly touching,” Blomkamp notes. “But, you know, fraught with gunfire.”
As for Elysium, Blomkamp reveals that Matt Damon wasn’t the director’s first choice to play the lead character, Max De Costa. At first, Blomkamp planned to make Elysium on a much-smaller budget (the final budget is around $90 million). His first choice to play the role was Ninja, one-half of Die Antwoord, but she turned down the role because he would have to commit to an American accent. Blomkamp then turned to…the rapper Eminem? He had only one condition: that the film be made in his hometown of Detroit, Michigan. Ultimately, Blomkamp received a bigger budget, and Matt Damon nabbed the role.
On a different note, it seems that Blomkamp is a big fan of the action director Michael Bay. “It’s not just blowing stuff up,” Blomkamp said of the director of the Transformers movies. “I like the way he composes scenes and action. He’s inspiring.” Maybe the two directors will someday collaborate on a project. I would love to see Neill Blomkamp direct a Transformers movie!
Elysium will hit theaters everywhere on August 9, in IMAX.