Well, that didn’t take long.
I included a link yesterday in The Morning Read to a story that indicated Neill Blomkamp was just starting his studio rounds with his new project “Elysium,” which was already fully funded by MRC. They were looking for a distributor, and it looks like Sony stepped up with a bid of $120 million, which locked the film up for them. The cast is great already, with Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, and Sharlto Copley aboard, but what really gets me crazy is the idea that Blomkamp managed to pin down the elusive Syd Mead, whose work on films like the original “TRON,” “Blade Runner,” and “Conan The Barbarian” made him one of the most important concept artists in film in the ’80s. He does not work frequently, but his love of “District 9” is what evidently got him to say yes to Blomkamp where he’s said no so many other times.
Now it looks like that quick turnaround on the “Elysium” deal has given MRC the confidence to greenlight another film immediately, which it appears that Blomkamp will shoot right after he’s done with “Elysium.” The title, according to the report at Deadline, is “Chappie,” and once again, it’s an original SF film.
At this point, with just one film under his belt, I have to confess that I’ve got mad love for Blomkamp. It’s interesting that the failure of “Halo” to get off the ground when he was going to direct the Peter Jackson-produced version of the video game adaptation is what motivated Blomkamp to take a step back and tackle an original property, and now, he seems to be moving full speed ahead with one original after another. I would love to see him make it through his entire career without ever touching a comic book or a remake or a video game or any of that crap. We need more people who are able to command major resources and commit them to original visions, and right now, Blomkamp is downright inspirational in the way he’s working.
We’ll have more on both “Elysium” and “Cappie” as details become available.