One of the better films of the 2009 summer season was District 9, the directorial debut of commercial/short-film director, Neill Blomkamp. Boasting an impressive set of special effects for a film with such a low budget (around $30 million), it proved all those nay-sayers wrong who thought giving Blomkamp the chance to direct such an ambitious film was a bad idea considering he'd never done a feature film before.
Those of you who saw District 9 might remember that a sequel is a possibility (although IMO not essential), and some people actually thought that might be his next project. But today we learn that isn't the case as BFDealMemo is reporting (thanks to /Film for picking up on it) that Media Rights Capital has committed financially to Blomkamp's next film.
MRC committed to Blomkamp's next film (another sci-fi outing) based on a pitch by the South African-born filmmaker. Bill Block, who was the first to jump on-board District 9, will produce the untitled sci-fi project. MRC is giving creative freedom to Blomkamp, as well as a production that isn't contingent on domestic distribution. Blomkamp will start writing the film immediately, as well as preparing the special effects for it. Although the budget isn't expected to be at the level of some other sci-fi blockbusters (read: the $200 million of Transformers 2), but is said to be very likely bigger than the $30 million budget of District 9.
Here's some of what Blomkamp had to say about his next film, and working with MRC:
"MRC is letting me make the film I want to make and that is by far the most important thing here... The film will hopefully be commercial, but it is very much a singular film, that comes directly from me. `District 9' was a bit different. I was learning the process then, under Peter Jackson's wing."
"I'm not particularly interested in massive budget films, or creating huge spectacles that some young directors might be attracted to... Hopefully, this will be a bit unique, very much a reflection of me. It is absolutely another science fiction film, quite different from `District 9,' but some of the blending of genres and the tone might be within the same realm."
MRC's CEO, Modi Wiczyk, chimed in with some thoughts on his admiration for Blomkamp:
"Neill is ferociously independent, an auteur, and a self-generator, all qualities that make him right for MRC... He set a high bar, with a film so fresh and original, with political, philosophical and allegorical themes that define the best of the science fiction genre. Some of the most brilliant filmmakers have worked in sci-fi, and Neill made his film with less money than most of them."
You said it! Blomkamp proved you don't need hundreds of millions of dollars to make an impressive looking sci-fi film, particularly on the special effects side of things. As I said, I don't think a District 9 sequel is really necessary, but at the same time I wouldn't be mad if they decided to make another one (it's definitely in the cards, FYI). I'm glad Blomkamp is turning his sights away from that world, however, with this yet-to-be-titled sci-fi film. Details are thin on what it'll be about, but /Film has a quote from Blomkamp himself that says the film is set on another planet, and is, "violent, very violent, and very unique hopefully."
Sounds intriguing to me. I can't wait to find out more about it, and eventually see the final product to see if District 9 wasn't a fluke. I personally highly doubt that, with the amount of skill he showed in directing the film.
What do you think of Blomkamp's first film post-District 9? Going from the info we have at the moment, do you have any idea what the film will end up being? And do you think there should be a sequel to District 9 (District 10)?
Sources: BFDealMemo and /Film