Neill Blomkamp Says ‘Elysium’ Nearly Finished, Next Movie Already in Development

Published 2 years ago by , Updated February 22nd, 2013 at 10:12 am,

Neill Blomkamp Chappie Neill Blomkamp Says Elysium Nearly Finished, Next Movie Already in Development

Director Neill Blomkamp was an exciting science fiction and visual effects director even before his landmark film District 9 blew the minds of genre fans in 2009. His second movie, Elysium, is set to open in August and (despite its secretive production) is already one of the most anticipated films of 2013.

This week, fans of Blomkamp’s work received a double dose of good news: Not only is Elysium all but finished (save some lingering effects touch-up work), it looks as if Blomkamp has already started to grease the rails for his third feature film, Chappie.

Vancouver news outlet The Province reports that Elysium is more or less finished, ready for all but a few fill-in FX shots scheduled for the spring. More interestingly, Neill Blomkamp has apparently begun to prepare for the production of his next feature film, Chappie.

Chappie is set to be a science fiction comedy co-written by Blomkamp and his District 9 collaborator/wife Terri Tatchell. The movie will be principally shot in Blomkamp’s native Johannesburg.

Nothing is known about the content of Chappie other than the fact that it’s a hybrid comedy. The lack of information isn’t very surprising, as both of Blomkamp’s previous films have played it close to the vest before release. Indeed, outside of a few promotional images and a plot synopsis, not much of Elysium has been shown to the public.

Neill Blomkamp Tempbot Neill Blomkamp Says Elysium Nearly Finished, Next Movie Already in Development

Image from Neill Blomkamp’s short film, ‘Tempbot.’

As ever, speculation about a film so far from production is fruitless, yet enjoyable. One possibility for the film stems from the effects-heavy short films that originally brought Blomkamp to the attention of Peter Jackson. For instance, District 9 is basically a heavily expanded and enhanced version of 2006′s Alive in Joburg. Thus, could Chappie be an adaptation of the workplace-comedy Tempbot?

Then again, Chappie could be something entirely new, a la Elysium. “Chappies” are a popular brand of South African bubble gum – suggesting that the film has nothing to do with an overworked and underpaid office robot. “Chappie” is also South African English slang for “young man,” which could swing things either way. Of course, though interesting, this information brings us no closer to divining the exact content of this far-off film.

In any event, the announcement of Elysium‘s completion and Chappie‘s beginnings will please many a science fiction fan. Now we only need to wait until August to find out whether the clamor for more Blomkamp-directed material is justified – or if District 9 was just a flash in the pan.

[Thanks to commenters Blixempie, The Avenger, and StikiT for their pointers on Afrikaans and general South African slang.]


While Chappie is still an unspecified amount of time away, Elysium will crash into theaters on August 9th, 2013.

Source: The Province [via Indie Wire]

Follow Kyle Hembree on Twitter @ProjectNightHam
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  1. It is not often that a movie is (nearly) completed and there is still almost no info on the film.

    • Blomkamp doesn’t do the whole “HEY GUYS, LET’S MARKET OUR FILM SIX TO EIGHT MONTHS OUT FROM RELEASE AND SPOON-FEED THE AUDIENCE EVERY BIT OF INFO WE CAN” routine. He stated at Comic-Con last year – along with the producer of the film – that they wanted the audience to sort of “discover” the movie. Not only do I think we won’t get a trailer “real soon” – but I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re still a couple months out from seeing any footage. I’m gonna say the first trailer will be attached to “Oblivion”. That appears to be the likely choice.

  2. hopefully that means we will be getting a trailer pretty quick. and im glad he is staying in the sci-fi genre for his next film. cant wait for both. I was really suprised by District 9.

  3. As an Afrikaans-speaking person from SA I can confirm that chappie does not at all mean tattoo. A Chappie is either a bubblegum or in South African English it can refer to a young guy. But if this movie will be about a robot in SA, then Chappie will probably be the robot’s name.

    • As an Afrikaans-speaking person from Cape Town, I approve Blixempie’s comment.

      @Blixempie: Dis lekker om vir ‘n slag nog ‘n Afrikaaner op Screenrant te sien – ek het gedog ek’s deel van ‘n bedreigde spesie! ;)

      • You mean I was misled by the INTERNET?! Now I’ve seen everything!

        In all seriousness, thank you for these notes. The article has been appended. Now I’m seriously wondering if we’re going to see a Tempbot spinoff (even if there’s not much material in that short to turn into a full-length comedy).

      • Dit maak dan 3 van ons – so daaremnog nie bedreig nie.

  4. I think the Afrikaans “word” you’re referring to is a “tjappie” Which is prison slang for a tattoo. Like wise I agree that it could refer to a Chap or dapper young individual. So it would make sense that it would be a bot’s name, assuming the movie is about “Tempbot”.

    Slightly off topic – Am I the only one who is dying to see the Prawns Return to Joburg in a Ditrict 9 sequel?

    • I would very much like to see that as well!!!

  5. I like a bit of mystery to a film’s release it makes it much more interesting a prospect foe me and probably makes me want to see it more…

    • Totally agreeing with you, Xander.

  6. Looks like they just announced that Ninja and Yo-Landi Vi$$er of Die Antwoord have been cast in the lead roles for Chappie:

    This doesn’t surprise me. The last thing Ninja did before discovering Die Antwoord was a graphic novel cum concept album called The Ziggurat (as The Constructus Corporation), which seems to share some major similarities with the premise of Elysium. It could just be coincidence – the premise of Elysium is not exactly novel to SciFi, though it’s particular manifestation sure looks to be – but given the mutual admiration that flows between Blomkamp and Die Antwoord it would not surprise me to learn that The Ziggurat was an influence on the film. I was convinced we would see a cameo by Die Antwoord in Elysium, and it still seems possible, but less so now that we know they’re headlining Blomkamp’s next film.

    Personally, I could be happier.

    • I beg your pardon.

      Personally, I could NOT be happier. Blomkamp+DieAntwoord=MatchMadeInHeaven

      • I don’t watch any movies or tv, and I only just recently found myself with friends in front of a TV watching Elysium, and thirty seconds in I was like wait;
        this is the ziggurat.
        Not a big fan (also not not a fan) of Blomkamp but a huge fan of Mr. Jones;
        has anyone seen Chappie yet? Is he in it?