Every cinematic genre has actors that rarely stray from their comfort zones. Generally, comedians and dramatic actors that tend to have longer shelf lives in popular films, while those associated with science fiction and horror often fall by the wayside, forced into appearances in direct-to-video or cable movies once their heyday is behind them. I know this is a very broad generalization with numerous exceptions, but you guys know what I mean. There just aren’t that many actors that are able to find repeated success when a majority of their films reside in mainstream sci-fi.
And anyone who says something silly like, “But what about Tom Cruise or Will Smith?” doesn’t get out time of day.
But Sharlto Copley looks poised to stake a bold claim to unique, interesting science fiction. The District 9 star has signed on for the sci-fi action flick Hardcore, to be produced by Russian director Timur Bekmambetov (Night Watch, Wanted).
Hardcore is slated to be the first feature from director Ilya Naishuller, the lead singer of the hard rock band Biting Elbows. While that may sound funky, you might recall we featured Naishuller’s directorial prowess – he’s been touted as Russia’s answer to Quentin Tarentino – for Biting Elbow’s music video “Bad Motherfucker”. You can check it out for yourself at the bottom of the page.
After playing the evil, Road Warrior-looking asshole in Neill Blomkamp’s upcoming Elysium, Copley will play the even more evil asshole in Spike Lee’s needless Oldboy remake. There aren’t a lot of plot details available about Hardcore right now, but Copley will take a break from playing dicks to play a hero this time out. The film will be told in a stylized first-person point-of-view, and will feature Copley killing a load of bad guys in order to save a damsel in distress. The music video should clue you in on how Naishuller plans to handle the POV camerawork.
On the sci-fi front, Copley currently stars (though not prominently) in the recently released space thriller Europa Report. He’s also has another project planned with Blomkamp, the sci-fi comedy Chappie, which should go into production shortly after the release of Elysium. Hopefully the Mat Damon vehicle makes enough money to make Blomkamp a prominent figure to more than just sci-fi fans.
Outside of sci-fi, Copley is also a busy guy. Beyond everything already mentioned, he’s set to play the king of all humans in Maleficent, a retelling of the classic tale Sleeping Beauty. He’ll also star in Open Graves, the upcoming horror film from Apollo 18 director Gonzalo López-Gallego. (Doesn’t that sound amazing…)
Hardcore will film in Naishuller’s native Russia. Watching the music video makes one wonder in what capacity Copley will actually be seen in the film. Maybe there will be a fight in a house of mirrors. One can only hope.