In a rare phenomenon among filmmakers, Neill Blomkamp is actually glad that one of his movie projects fell apart.
The “Elysium” director told LA Times’ HeroComplex in a recent interview that the death of the “Halo” movie he’d been recruited to direct by Peter Jackson several years back was a great stroke of “luck” in his career for one simple reason: it allowed him to make “District 9.”
“The luck is the fact that Peter and [his partner] Fran [Walsh] let me make [‘District 9”] out of the ruins that were ‘Halo,”” said Blomkamp. “What happened out of that was learning to trust my ideas. If ‘Halo” had come out and succeeded or failed, I wouldn”t have learned that.”
Nevertheless, following the big success of “District 9” at the box-office ($210 million worldwide on a $30 million budget), Hollywood once again came knocking on Blomkamp’s door with offers to direct other big-budget franchise projects – all of which he turned down.
“It”s getting to the point now where [Blomkamp’s agency] WME just doesn”t send me stuff anymore,” he said. “It”s not because I think I”m better than any of that stuff. There are many franchises out there I would love to participate in. The problem is when you agree to do that, you take a lot of the control that you have over your own creative destiny away from yourself.”
Though Blomkamp indicated earlier this year that he’d be happy to reconsider “Halo” if he was given “control” of the project creatively, no further movement on the film has since been reported; instead, Microsoft has announced they will be entering production on a live-action TV series adaptation of the property executive-produced by Steven Spielberg, which will be included as part of the original programming slate for their forthcoming “all-in-one entertainment” console Xbox One.
As for “Elysium” – another original sci-fi project from the mind of Blomkamp, albeit with a significantly larger budget and two major Hollywood stars in Matt Damon and Jodie Foster – the film has been receiving fairly positive advance buzz (early reviews have it at a 62% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes) in advance of its opening this Friday. You can read Drew’s review of the film here.
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