Back when Slumdog Millionaire came out and charmed audiences and critics alike, I thought Dev Patel’s career looked promising. Even though he hasn’t quite prospered in the industry as I hoped he would (presumably thanks to his subpar performances in M. Night Shyamalan’s potentially career-ending film The Last Airbender and the critically panned About Cherry), the British actor managed to score a role in HBO’s popular show The Newsroom, where he plays Neal Sampat. But now it seems he has caught the eye of renowned directors once again, as he’s reportedly in talks to star in Elysium director Neill Blomkamp’s sci-fi comedy Chappie.
The movie’s based on the South African director’s short film Terta Vaal, which (sort of) advertises a team of robots that helps police deal with slums around the globe. Sharlto Copley (naturally) has already been announced to star as a robot who patrols an impoverished town, while Patel is slated to play a young man living there. The setting is right up Blomkamp’s alley — the filmmaker knows how to effectively portray poverty-stricken nations. Needless to say, there is strong subtext within his movies, and call me crazy, but I strongly believe he’s one of the most exciting and brilliant directors working today.
Blomkamp’s debut film District 9 received critical acclaim (even though some criticized its action-packed third act), whereas the jury is still out on whether his newest feature Elysium will be just as successful. As far as Patel goes, I’m glad he’s joining Chappie — he’s a talented, underrated actor who simply doesn’t select his projects carefully, therefore, I sincerely hope that this film gives him a much-needed career boost.
What do you think about Chappie? Are you glad Dev Patel has entered negotiations to star in Neill Blomkamp’s forthcoming feature? And are you excited about Elysium? Let us know in the comments below.