Is the Neill Blomkamp comeback finally on the cards? The filmmaker was touted as cinema’s latest wunderkind when District 9 exploded onto the scene in the summer of 2009, winning rave reviews and going on to earn $210 million at the box office on a $30 million budget, and landed four Academy Award nominations including Best Picture, all by the time he was 30 years old.
Blomkamp returned to the world of sociopolitical sci-fi with both Elysium and Chappie, but the law of diminishing returns had set in. He flirted with both a direct sequel to James Cameron’s Aliens and Paul Verhoeven’s RoboCop before jumping ship, focusing on his experimental Oats Studios outfit in the interim, but his first feature for six years releases next month when supernatural horror Demonic arrives.
He’s also got sci-fi Inferno with Taylor Kitsch on the horizon, as well as the long-awaited District 10. The sequel was finally confirmed to be in active development earlier this year, and in a new interview Blomkamp confirmed that the writing process is ongoing, as well as teasing that he’s looking to draw inspiration from a certain period of American history.
“That script continues to be written. It’s looking good. It took a decade to figure out, to come up with a reason why to make that film as opposed to just make a sequel. There was a topic in American history that the second I realized that that fit into the world of District 9, it felt like an awesome way to do a sequel. So yeah, it continues to be developed and it’s getting a lot closer.”
The opener was very obviously an indictment of the apartheid era and an exploration of broader themes like xenophobia, social segregation and racism, so you can draw your own conclusions as to which chapter in the United States’ past he could be referring to.
We could be waiting a while to see District 10, though, seeing as it’s taken over a decade for the project to start gaining some real momentum, and Blomkamp has even been hinting that he’s considering giving up the movie business altogether to focus on video game development.