Neill Blomkamp Turned Down ‘Star Wars’; Has Treatment For ‘District 10′

Published 1 year ago by , Updated July 17th, 2013 at 11:42 pm,

District 9 10 Neill Blomkamp Prawns Humans Neill Blomkamp Turned Down Star Wars; Has Treatment For District 10

After the ambitious Halo film adaptation was canned during pre-production, would-be director Neill Blomkamp and executive producer Peter Jackson – who enlisted him for Halo – chose to instead spend their efforts on making a full-length feature based on his own short film Alive in Joburg. That movie was District 9 and it made waves among Hollywood’s top brass, critics and fans alike.

After the success of his feature debut and the mess that was Halo, Blomkamp has little interest in adapting well-known, established properties like Star wars, and instead moved towards another original project in Elysium as his next big project. The South Africa-born filmmaker has several ideas for his next projects but District 10 is still in the cards.

With Elysium hitting theaters next month, Wired featured a lengthy piece on Blomkamp’s life, career and future projects and in it, Blomkamp touches on his thoughts on the industry and what projects he wants to do next. As it turns out, Simon Kinberg – who’s producing and writing X-Men: Days of Future Past and developing standalone Star Wars spinoffs – approached Blomkamp “gingerly” with a Star Wars opportunity but he turned it down to instead focus on smaller, original projects.

Elysium Trailer 3 2013 Neill Blomkamp Turned Down Star Wars; Has Treatment For District 10

After Elysium, the director is shooting a sci-fi film called Chappie later this year and hoping to work on a puppet comedy titled Mild Oats next. After that there’s nothing planned but Blomkamp, who previously revealed he has a story ready for District 10 (his title), mentioned that he has an 18-page treatment which he simply describes as “really fucking cool.”

The plan however, is to continue with original projects and depending on the success and critical reception of Elysium, studios will likely lineup to help produce and distribute whatever he chooses to pursue. Interestingly, Blomkamp points out how many of the current high profile sci-fi films are nothing more than “shit exploding and spaceships and stuff” without any significant message. Perhaps District 10 can help fix this and be as unique as its predecessor was.

Fun Fact: Eminem was offered the lead part in Elysium before Matt Damon.

Let me know on Twitter @rob_keyes if you want District 9 to get a sequel!

Source: Wired

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TAGS: district 9, star wars


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  1. Oh damn, Eminem? That would be interesting.
    Mr. Blomkamp, PLEASE consider giving halo another go after Chappy+Mild Oats. You are the only person that can do it!

  2. Good work neil blomkamp, stay original

  3. “Blomkamp points out how many of the current high profile sci-fi films are nothing more than “s*** exploding and spaceships and stuff” without any significant message. ”

    “Eminem was offered the lead part in Elysium before Matt Damon”

    Thank you screenrant for alerting me to how much of a freaking chode Neil Blomkamp is.

    • have you seen Eminem act? He’s actually really good

    • “Blomkamp points out how many of the current high profile sci-fi films are nothing more than “s*** exploding and spaceships and stuff” without any significant message. ”

      Thank you screenrant for alerting me on how right Neil Blomkamp is. Blomkamp is the king of Sci-fi now LOL.

    • Well, after Darthballs posted his comment, we can now name someone who apparently willingly buys tickets to see Transformers movies and probably went to see Grown Ups 2 as well last weekend.

  4. What is the reason that the journalist can swear in the article itself, but when someone is quoting them, they are censored?

    • We nor Wired swore. Am I reading this right?

      • Yes, you’re reading it correctly. Darthballs is just a f***ing dumba**. :)

        • @Cave-ish Man

          I f****** love you man.

  5. Ha, felt like making that point myself! After all profanity is profanity weather it’s in quotes or not. It’s one rule for them and one rule for everyone else. Yeah, sticking it to the man!!!
    Elysium looks great though and District 9 WAS great. Funny, original and starring a South African Steve Carell, What’s not to like?
    Now I’m off to protest about, oh I don’t know… Something.

  6. South African Steve Carell lol totally stealing that

    • I’m totally stealing chode, although I’ve no idea what a chode is. Can they wave placards?
      ‘Hell no, we wont chode’ does that work? help.

      • Guess you’re too young to remember Beavis and Butt-head…

  7. Ha, felt like making that point myself! After all profanity is profanity weather it’s in quotes or not. It’s one rule for them and one rule for everyone else. Yeah, sticking it to the man!!!

  8. I think Blomkamp has a point, this summers scifi has been a lot of meaningless explosions with very little to say, even Man of Steel went all Transformers at the end, I’m really looking forward to Elysium, probably more than anything that been released so far

    What crazy casting Eminen would have been, although he was pretty good in 8 Mile and it’s a shame he’s done nothing since, as far as rapper/actors go, much prefer him to the monotone robot acting of 50 Cent!

    A chode is a short fat stubby weener FYI

    • Since when do sci-fi blockbusters in the summer – a time of the year where people tend to just want to enjoy themselves – need to “say something”? I don’t need to listen to some foul-mouthed elitist rant about how big-budget blockbusters should preach to their audience.

      During the summer, I don’t expect much of a message at all in any movie I watch – as long as it tells a good story. The Transformers movies, Cowboys and Aliens, the Hangover trilogy, etc are all what I’d call pointless. Most of the ones this summer have been good but not amazing.

    • I think man of steel and star trek evoked some powerful emotion

      • The last 20 minutes of MoS just dragged on.

        • The first 20 minutes also.

          • Not sure what movie you and Cave-ish were watching…MOS had my rapt attention from beginning to end.

      • Star Wreck:Into Darkness evoked some emotion, all right.


    • Blomkamp has a point. Sci-fi used to break ground in the past with Alien, Blade Runner, Mad Max, Star Trek, and so on. It seems films these days focus more on the CGI aspect of the film and less on charcter development. With District 9, it was soo great on character development, had a well thoughtout script, and had some great CGI. I am hoping Elysium brings the same and gets Sci-fi back on track

      • Many summer blockbusters have had things to say over the years, District 9 being one of them, Robocop, Jurassic Park, Gladiator, the list is endless! I don’t particularly care for big explosions and CGI, I prefer a good story and characters that are written well, these are the movies that become classics and will be watched over and over again, can you seriously say that about Cowboys and Aliens?

        Star Trek was awful, biggest disappointment this year for me! I blame the horrendous writing of Orci, Kurtzman and Lindeloff, dumbing down cinema once summer blockbuster at a time!

        • Exactly.

          Robocop was about consumerism, corporations taking over services such as police and the slow death of industrialism. Verhoeven himself has said this and also pointed out that Murphy’s sacrifice and resurrection as Robocop is a modern Jesus re-telling.

          I guess the lunkheads who hurl abuse at visionaries like Blomkamp for telling it like it is are gonna be upset when their beloved meathead franchises with nothing to say and wall to wall explosions get talked about in that manner.

          I mean, sure, I love dumbass action movies but honestly, we haven’t had anything decent like Commando, Kickboxer or Bloodsport and instead get trash like the movies Blomkamp hinted at.

          I guess they’d feel right at home with the Michael Bay and Zack Snyder methodology of “more explosions, more slo mo shots of hot girls bending over vehicles” and “dammit, make that costume tighter” than the thoughtfulness and social commentary that Blomkamp and others give us with movies that go down as classics in their genre.

          Besides, why complain about the F word?

          He said it, the movies these meatheaded trogladytes who swamped the comments section of this article with abuse towards him feature the word predominantly, we all say it.

          • “Robocop” was also an aborted Judge Dredd movie (it originally started as one). JD was always full of mindless over-the-top consumerism. It’s great that “Robocop” survived and went on to tell it’s message while disguising itself as just another B -movie.

            Infact, I think “Robocop” is the perfect movie. (Only the first one)

            • I totally agree, Robocop was the first R rated movie I ever saw and so will always have a special place in my heart!! It’s perfect!!

      • “With District 9, it was soo great on character development, had a well thoughtout script…”

        Put down the bong….

  9. That’s great of him: pursuing original content and being capable of turning down such a big offer.
    And I couldn’t be more excited about District 10 news. I wish he returned to that right after Elysium similar to how C. Nolan did original projects in-between Batman movies but I will regardless be interested in what he makes.

  10. I would’ve loved to see Blomcamp do The Terminator sequels, he would do a fine job with his vision, but I guess that won’t be.

  11. I would love to see District 10, 9 was the shizznit

  12. It looks like he took all the designs from the would-be Halo film and made Elysium. Does anyone else see the similarities?


    • Well, theres the circular shape of the space station Elysium. Its totally a Halo. But other than that idk… I didn’t see any Halo weaponry or anything.

      • The Pelicans too I think.

        He said once that he chose to reuse the designs for some elements of the Halo movie in Elysium because he didn’t want all that work to go to waste.

  13. Hollywood will line up to get his next idea if Elysium works out at the box office? Joss whedon didn’t have a lot of creative control before the success of the avengers. Jj Abrams became a really hot property after star Trek before that he was just the unproved tv director. Nolan couldn’t get inception produced before the dark knight. Christopher mcquerry never made it in spite of usual suspects and way of the gun. My point? Majors are not interested by original properties. Original properties put creators on their radar that’s it. They are interested by franchise whose value they can assess and put in their books, from which they can produce merchandising. They are interested in a young creator only to update their franchise and have a very precise idea of what they want from him. If the creator refuses to play ball (like mcquarrie during most of the last decade) or if he screws up his take on the franchise he s dead meat. If he succeeds then he can have his toys ( like Peter Jackson with King Kong ). Even if elyseul is a success blomkamp won’t have a total freedom. Simply another call to take terminator 6,blade runner 2 or Star Wars 8

    • Yep and the could be failure of pacific rim doesnt help anyone

      • I really hope Pacific Rim doesn’t fail and if it does, well, I know who I’m gonna blame for not going to see it like they should’ve.

        Seriously, a sequel to a terrible attempt at comedy beats it at the box office over there? I’m giving myself a headache with all this head shaking I’m doing, that’s how disappointed I am.

        • If you want to blame anything, I’d blame the marketing for the film. I haven’t seen it and don’t know if I will or not (somewhat due to financial reasons and somewhat due to disinterest). But I’ve been turned off by the marketing of the movie. I love rock music, but putting it with a film trailer almost never works. They’ve made it look too silly focusing on the robot doing the stereo typical fist into the open palm thing and the pilot yelling “woooo” There needed to be more focus on the dangers the monsters present or how long earth has been under their rule etc.

  14. He’s only ever done one film (which is why I think he’s overrated).
    District 9 was good, but imo, not as amazing as people make it out to be. It was certainly directed very well though – for that I give the guy props. What he managed to do with the amount of money he had… that was quite a feat as well.

    I’m hopeful for Elysium, but based on his work that I’ve seen (District 9 and a few of his shorts), I’m kinda glad he turned down Star Wars.

    • I’m pleased he turned it down too, although you have to admit, it must have been sorely tempting, so well done to the man for sticking by his guns. Not really a Star Wars fan, I mean it’s hardly science fiction is it? That is to say a story based around a science theory or fact. Just because it’s set in space does not automatically mean it’s the good stuff, there’s little or no science theory involved, it’s just fantasy really. Unlike say, the works of Larry Niven, Robert heinline, Robert Silverberg, Poul Anderson, Asimov… I could go on. But these guys always had a point to their work. As has been said, this years offerings so far have been pretty much wham, bam, bang, boosh and that’s your lot. As stunning as some them are to watch, there’s little under the surface.
      And Rob, sorry mate but there is the ‘F’ word in there, but, y’know, no biggie. We’re just joshing.
      And I now know what a chode is. Every day’s a school day.

      • Should maybe have clarified it a bit: When I said I’m kinda glad he turned down Elysium, I was speaking in the interest of Star Wars.
        Blomkamp’s directorial style isn’t something that really fits with the Star Wars universe imo. Maybe he could do a spin-off movie (something set in the dark, seedy underbelly of Coruscant?), but aside from that, I don’t really want Blomkamp near Star Wars at this point ;)

        Like I said, I’m hopeful for Elysium, but as a director, he has yet to show much range (he’s only really done a gritty sci-fi flick and a few gritty sci-fi shorts.)

        • He could rock a bobba fett film, then people may have a reason to like the character

          • Agreed on the first part of your comment. Second part makes no sense to me! ;) People like Bobba Fett because he’s awesome.

            • *Boba

  15. He declined to do what….? He would have been perfect… He’d bring in that grit that’s required of a war and political movie

    • Yes he totally would’ve been perfect. But Star Wars just isn’t his cup of tea I guess. I admire that he’s gonna keep doing deeper more meaningful projects instead of just “sh** blowing up” as he so accurately put it. That’s artistic integrity, hollywood needs more of that.

  16. eminem in this role would have insured this movie would have tanked.
    i know neil pulled a hat trick with a newcomer on screen in sharlto copley,
    but the dude can act and of course damon is a proven box office pedigree.
    no one can really rate a director or a actor at least after a signifigant
    body of work is done. what he did with the budget of district and what it became is amazing when you consider he is just one film into his career.
    but he has to be careful and not fall asleep after one hit film like eduardo sanchez and daniel myrick did back in 1999.

  17. Yes, he WOULD be perfect for Star Wars, but Star Wars is not perfect for him…

    This is what the prequels have wrought. Not only were they terrible in of themselves, but they (and the SE) degraded the mystery of the original franchise to a nub.

    Now, anyone worthy of taking up Star Wars won’t touch it.

    Want to Write/Direct/Star in a new Star Wars film… (clears throat) – “IT’S A TRAP!”

    • The prequels failed because of the writing and directing (i.e. George Lucas). These new movies aren’t being written or directed by Lucas.

      It’s all about the talent involved. So far, they have some great talent working on Episode VII.

      • I agree, with the prequels Lucas proved not only that he’s a sucky writer but that he’s also a sucky director. He made Natalie Portman and Ewan Macgregor look bad. How do you do that? Those guys have some serious talent and some of their scenes were absolutely laughable..

        But I digress… I am cautiously optimistic about SW VII. There is more talent involved like you said.

      • I enjoyed the prequels, but admit they are weaker. That being said, in addition to Lucas indulging himself too much the acting was very weak. Too much needing guidance when that was never Lucas’ strong suit. Who were the actors that made the most believable performances? The ones who have stage experience and are willing to make the most silly dialogue mean something to their character and make it believable that their character would say that i.e. Christopher Lee and Ian McDiarmid. Natalie Portman is a good actress overall but you could see she grew disinterested, Ewan McGregor started to complain too much about green screen and though he improved in Ep III, Hayden Christensen was just a poor choice.

        Back on topic though, I can understand Blomkamp not wanting to be tied down within the SW story line, but why turn down the franchise as a whole? He could do almost anything he wanted in a spin off movie if he picked the right character(s).

  18. Oh, and I think Eminem would of nailed this role from what I can see. He’s not a stupid man, and he’s a decent actor. From what I can tell the role requires a ton of physicality, and I don’t doubt that he could pull that off as well.

    Can’t figure why he would turn the role down, so I’m imagining that a money man was concerned (naturally) and preferred to have a “bankable” star in the role.

    • Highly doubt it was a money man involved. Especially since this is Neil’s second movie and he’s still proving himself in hollywood as of now. I believe that Eminem probably turned down the part because of possible schedule conflicts with himself releasing his new material, and his managing his label at the moment. But Eminem would have been interesting to see. I dont think hes decent. I actually would say Em is a damn good actor. Plays the everyday man very well, and thats pretty much want Damon is doing in this one.

  19. He has moré creative control this way, with Star Wars you can do a límited amount of things.

  20. the part was offered to ninja first who turned it down because he said
    it was too high profile for him. (meaning he wont man up)
    eminem turned it down because he requested it would need to be filmed in
    detroit for him to take the role and neil moved on to matt damon. no eminem would have made a fool out of himself playing this role. 11 years without
    a feature film… sounds like he cant manup either.

    • When you say “ninja”….who do you mean again?

      I assume you’re a Juggalo by using that term too, which if true is cool with me. I’m not one but two of my best friends in college were. Awesome dudes.

      • LOL, its some dude from a weird and gross rock group die artwoord.
        did not know who he was until i read neil offered him the part. i just
        hope bloomkamp is not another bloke like james cameron who wants to receive all of credit for films success. matt damons prescence complements
        the directors vision.

  21. The fact that Eminem was offered and turned it down is one of the coolest fun facts I have ever heard of for a movie. Maybe, granted Elysium is a great film, he will be more interested in pursuing acting in films. Or maybe he feels no interest whatsoever. But look at Justin Timberlake, yes he’s much more friendly, but Em is very animated in his music videos. Maybe a roll in something like this in the future would set up a whole second half of Marshall Mather’s.

  22. Eminem in Elysium would have been amazing, the character is somewhat thuggish as is (prison tattoos). Talk about fresh ideas. Some will never understand thinking outside the box. The juxtaposition of a modern hip-hop star in a futuristic ghetto battling robots. A new level of Badass.
    A new kind of DOPE!

  23. Oh thank freakin’ goodness. He would have made Star Wars into some class warfare movie…

  24. Why can’t Matthew Vaughn Directory Star Wars? He would be great!

  25. The film industry desperately needs talent like Neil Blomkamp… now more than ever! People who can get films made within the studio system that have spectacle but also substance, yet which also have mass appeal, and which get people talking into the bargain (always a good thing), the Wachowski siblings and Chris Nolan are much the same in that regard.

    And I for one am very glad that Neil Blomkamp turned down directing a new ‘Star Wars’ movie, I have mixed feelings about the upcoming new films (more specifically, the spin-off movies), but the level of talent involved and the enormous effort by all involved in Episode VII to seemingly not repeat the voluminous mistakes of the prequels leaves me cautiously optimistic that we just might be in for something pretty special in 2015, but I digress… in short, ‘Star Wars’ doesn’t need Neil Blomkamp and Neil Blomkamp doesn’t need ‘Star Wars’… Blomkamp is much too exciting a young talent to waste on franchises at this point, he’ll likely take the opportunities given him by ‘District 9′ to make as much of his own projects as he can, and so he rightly should, long may he continue to do so!

    On a personal level, I myself kinda lament that Neil Blomkamp wasn’t a ‘Judge Dredd’ afficianado intent on making the definitive movie adaptation of that character, because he would be one of the VERY few who could actually get a proper, representative big-budget treatment of the ’2000 A.D.’ icon greenlit and actually made at this point… and just how sweet would THAT have been!?

  26. I just want the sequel to district 9.

  27. Actually, no. Don’t take me wrong, I truly enjoyed district9 but above all, I’d love to see him direct another original sci-fi movie. As he says, there’s gonna be a message behind all the sci-fi story and not only spaceships and explosions and from my point of view, there’s nothing better.

  28. Glad to see a director being concerned about a film having a message rather than just shiny things, boobs and explosions.

  29. Star Trek is probably the best film of the Summer so far but Elysium has taken my new top spot as far as anticipation goes especially after how amazing District 9 was there isnt one person that watched and was actually like man I hope to god there is a sequel such a thrill ride!

    • wasnt like*