Rolling Stone's First Look at District 9 with More Details!
by Alex Billington
May 4, 2009
With the teaser trailer for District 9 now playing in theaters in front of Wolverine, audiences have started to become much more interested in the film. And of course, like Cloverfield, the big question everyone is asking is what the heck it's about? The good news is that we finally have some good answers straight from the filmmakers, courtesy of the latest issue of Rolling Stone. I was also told that there was a brand new photo from District 9 in the newest issue - and there indeed is a new photo. However, it's so incredibly small that even if we had a good scan, you wouldn't be able to make out much, but we do have other details.
The article (as seen below) is part of their Summer Movie Preview (which isn't online yet) put together by Peter Travers. The feature contains a few good quotes from director Neill Blomkamp and producer Peter Jackson, primarily about the concept and the story. Since all we have is this pretty rough scan (which we'll change out once we get a better high quality version of the new photo), we'll just run some of the quotes that answer the questions of what's going on and what this about. Jackson teases: "It's fun watching people trying to compare this to other films. Is it like 28 Days Later? No, it's not. Is it like Cloverfield? No."
Blomkamp explains where the idea for District 9 (and his short film Alive in Joburg) originally came from: "I was a science-fiction nut when I was growing up in Johannesburg. I just wanted to see that kind of imagery in a third world setting with the complex political history of South Africa." Keep reading!
Jackson explains the backstory behind what we're seeing in the trailer, to answer at least a few questions. "These aliens arrived 20 years ago in a dead, derelict mothership, which hovers above Johannesburg. It's enormous, like the size of 10 football fields. The aliens have ended up in a Soweto-style township beneath the ship. It's clear that they're not really integrating into society. They like to scavenge things, rip up train tracks. So the authorities shift them 200 miles away, into the African belt. They've built a concentration camp." And of course, that's when things get crazy. "The resident's of Joburg want them gone."
"The film has almost a disregard for visual effects. Like, the aliens are so mundane and so part of the geography that you don't really focus on them at all," which is what makes this so unique. "Neill has built these teasing glimpses of alien culture, like gangs that spring up among them. Part of the fun is learning how the alien society has taken its lead from Earth society and from its own original thoughts. The film has this documentary rawness to it. It's original, which is good, because the film industry today only wants to remake every 70's TV show and superhero graphic novel. District 9 is not your typical summer film."
Although it seems like they're explaining a lot, these are all just basic details, and there's more to the story than they're hinting at. For example, in the footage I saw at ShoWest, it looked like the aliens might be trying to do more than just live peacefully. We'll let you know the moment we have updates on District 9!