A poster for Chappie released at Comic-Con 2014.
Quixotic South African writer-director Neill Blomkamp has got his weirdness back. After the humdrum reception of his second film Elysium, starring Matt Damon, he seems to have returned to his bizarre sci-fi roots of his directorial debut District 9. That’s if the first trailer for his new film Chappie, released yesterday, is anything to go by.
Chappie tells the coming-of-age story of an artificial intelligence robot growing up in a strange and dysfunctional family that includes a mother figure played by Yolandi Vi$$er of the South African zef rap-rave group Die Antwoord. Her partner Ninja also stars, unsurprisingly as a gangster.
The movie, shot in Johannesburg, has a strong cast: Dev Patel of Slumdog Millionaire, Sigourney Weaver, Hugh Jackman and Jose Pablo Cantillo. Sharlto Copley, the star of District 9, voices the robot Chappie.
Here’s the official synopsis: “Every child comes into the world full of promise, and none more so than Chappie: he is gifted, special, a prodigy. Like any child, Chappie will come under the influence of his surroundings – some good, some bad – and he will rely on his heart and soul to find his way in the world and become his own man. But there’s one thing that makes Chappie different from anyone else: he is a robot. The first robot with the ability to think and feel for himself. His life, his story, will change the way the world looks at robots and humans forever.”
Blomkamp wrote the script in collaboration with his District 9 partner Terri Tatchell. The movie was filmed in Johannesburg between October 2013 and February 2014. It is due for release on 6 March 2015.
Watch the trailer:
The first official poster for the film was released on 3 November.