Blomkamp's Next Film 'Chappie' Based on His 2003 Short 'Tetra Vaal'
"What if…" What if Neill Blomkamp's third movie is better than his second movie? Okay okay, let's not get ahead of ourselves. We're still waiting to see Blomkamp's Elysium, due in theaters this August, but we've also been tracking his next project after that, titled Chappie. One of the big reasons we're following this so closely is because he lined up production to start on Chappie in South Africa this year before Elysium comes out. While we know it's Blomkamp's first sci-fi comedy, not much else is known. However, Den of Geek got some key details out of Neill Blomkamp in a recent chat, including his 2003 short film that it's based on.
Earlier in the year, we confirmed that Blomkamp regular Sharlto Copley would be back to star in Chappie, and that it will go into production "immediately after Blomkamp" finishes work on Elysium. Initially, all we knew about the story was that it was a "sci-fi comedy" script co-written by Blomkamp and his wife Terri Tatchell. Now we know just a little bit more to keep us anxiously waiting. Blomkamp let slip that Chappie is, "basically based on Tetra Vaal" - referring to the first sci-fi short film he made in 2003 that is one of his most popular on YouTube (in addition to Alive in Joburg which later became his first feature - District 9).
Last year, Blomkamp said that Chappie will have a "ridiculous robot character" which many guessed was a reference to Tetra Vaal. This is confirmation they are definitely linked. The robot characters in Tetra Vaal (see below) are essentially police bots design to help humanity in impoverished countries. The main bot has giant pointy ears that look similar to the ears on cyborg Briareos Hecatonchires from the Appleseed series. Blomkamp has also confirmed "you'll see some more Briareos ears." Here's his original Tetra Vaal short:
Tetra Vaal poses the question of "what if we could build a system", essentially a mech or robot, to "to help police" and "developing nations". Blomkamp is already introducing us to a robot world in Elysium, but this should be a cool follow-up. Besides all those little bits and details and this short above, we're still in the dark on the specific plot in Chappie. But knowing it's another new sci-fi story from Neill Blomkamp featuring robots galore, I'm invested and excited already. We'll be watching for additional casting news and other details, as well as updates on Blomkamp's Elysium. The URL at the end of the short film - tv-robotics.co.za - doesn't work any more, but I do hope we see/hear more for either of these sci-fi movies soon. Sound good?