Neill Blomkamp amassed a lot of critical acclaim for his debut feature film District 9, but his follow ups Elysium and Chappie haven’t inspired as fervent of a reaction from critics and fans. While many were excited about the sci-fi director’s planned Alien sequel – which was seemingly held up because of what turned into Alien: Covenant and eventually shelved – his recent work puts him in the unfortunate spot of truly needing a win out of whatever his next project is.
Well, his next project is finally coming to fruition and with the release of the first full-length trailer the subject matter and tone are crystallizing. The project, which is collectively being referred to as Oats Studios, finds Blomkamp returning to his short film roots and hopefully finding his groove again after a few misses. A trailer for the first short film in his planned series is called Oats Studios Volume 1 and includes every alien invasion touchstone that fans could possibly want: an empty Paris conveyed via a shot of an abandoned Eiffel Tower, a shot of alien creatures (par for the Blomkamp course), soldiers, zombies, and possibly some zombie soldiers. Plus Dakota Fanning and Sigourney Weaver on top of everything else? Consider us hooked on whatever is happening here.
The shorts will be sold through Steam, and based on the early look it’s a candidate to be a breakout hit online if only because of all the imagery that people will be able to theorize about and pick apart on message boards for a while. The Oats Studios shorts are meant to be a testing ground for potential future feature films. Since it has seemed like Blomkamp’s recent projects could have used another round of feedback and processing before being expanded into full films, this might be the best scenario for the artist’s upcoming work.
There’s no premiere date for the complete short yet, but based on Blomkamp’s Twitter feed the first one might be able to be watched for free on the Oats Studios YouTube page with subsequent installments costing a flat fee – all in the name of gauging interest in the story he is crafting. With only limited details at this point there’s not much to go off of besides anticipation but that should be enough for long-time Blomkamp fans.