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District 10 – Is sequel to Neill Blomkamp’s sci-fi film underway?

Posted by LiveFor on April 26, 2010

District 9 was one of the highlights of 2009 for me. Great idea, great production and Sharlto Copley was brill in the lead. I know some people didn’t like it but each to their own. I was curious as to whether we would see any sequel to it, but director Neill Blomkamp had said that he was going to be working on different things before he came back to it.

Looks like that could have been misdirection on his part as MarketSaw have news that a sequel is in pre-production (their sources could be wrong, but they are usually on the ball).

DISTRICT 10 (Production title at least) is now in pre-production with filming to start in the October time frame this year. Shooting locations will be South Africa once again as well as New Zealand. There has been no word on whether it will be shot in S3D or not as of yet. You will be the first to know! Peter Jackson is again producing the sequel with Neill Blomkamp directing.

I do hope they are working on a sequel as I am itching to see what happens when the ship comes back.

The same article also mentions that the adaption of Philip Reeves Mortal Engines will be in 3D. Great book. Hope they don’t mess that up.

Do you want a sequel? What do you want to see in it?

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District 9 writer to make sci-fi film about a rock man being slightly sinister

Posted by LiveFor on February 24, 2010

Neill Blomkamp, Terri Tatchell & Sharlto Copley

Terri Tatchell is the screenwriter of Neill Blomkamp’s District 9 – they’re also a couple which is cool. Terri has been nominated for a Best Adapted Screenplay for this years Oscars. She chatted to io9 about that, Moon and the film she is working on next.

She was disappointed about Sharlto Copley (star of District 9) not being nominated, but also a certain film by Duncan Jones.

I was disappointed about Moon. I loved Moon. I thought Sam Rockwell was amazing in Moon. That one I’m definitely disappointed in. Avatar is definitely dominating everything, and it was an incredible film, very visually so. Star Trek was great. The Hurt Locker. I absolutely loved. That’s not scifi, but that deserves to be up there. I liked the Hurt Locker so much that I got halfway home from the theater and I realized I left my purse in the theater. That’s a compliment, that’s when you know you enjoyed a film. But yes, for science fiction specifically, I have to say I was disappointed Moon wasn’t included.

Her next film she is working on sounds very intriguing and the short she mentions is below.

The film I’m working on now is an adaptation of a short film called Terminus. It’s a bit more science fiction, fantasy. It’s about a stone creature that follows this stressed-out guy around, just stressing him more and more. It was incredibly well received, and the director that created it, [Trevor Cawood] hasn’t done a feature yet, and he’s really talented. I approached him about writing a feature script of that. It’s been a little more challenging than I expected it to be. I’m probably on my second draft now. I’m not ready to send it off yet, but we’ll see.

Not sure how they can turn this into a feature, but I do like the short film.

Posted in Film, news, Sci-Fi | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

District 9 had some cool guns. Now you can buy some of them

Posted by LiveFor on February 5, 2010

Like me you probably watched District 9 and really enjoyed it. Great story, good effects, excellent acting, but of course some of the best things on screen where the great big alien guns. Who’s with me?

Now the good folks over at WETA have put together exact replicas of two of the weapons from Neill Blompkamp’s film.


Availability: Pre-order Now!
Edition Size: 200
Dimensions: 23.6″ x 39.4″ x 3.9″ (H x W x D)
60 cm x 100 cm x 10 cm
Weight: 11.9lbs (5.4 Kg)

The Nigerian crime lord of the District 9 ghetto, Obesandjo, has amassed a significant cache of prawn hardware through terror and pushing tinned cat food.

The Gas Projector is a powerful weapon. If only it could be fired by humans…

An EXACT replica of the guns used in Neill Blomkamp’s District 9, designed by Dr Grordbort’s designer Greg Broadmore and modelled on the actual props created by the artists and craftspeople at Weta Workshop.

This gun comes battle worn, alien gunk oozing out of its couplings and all the scratches and markings you’d expect from tough action in District 9 and by handling by Nigerian gun runners.

It’s made mainly from glass fibre, with some details made from other materials. It comes with a wall mounting bracket for display.

PLEASE NOTE: Unless your genetic makeup is part prawn, you cannot power up or fire this gun.


Availability: Pre-order Now!
Edition Size: 200
Dimensions: 15.7″ x 39.4″ x 3.9″ (H x W x D)
40 cm x 100 cm x 10 cm
Weight: 10.8lbs (4.9 Kg)

Wikus van der Merwe finds out the hard way that a measure of Alien DNA makes powering up and firing one of these babies a real doddle.

Sometimes, ignorance is bliss.

Both are going for about £300 or $500.

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2009: The Year of Smart Sci-Fi

Posted by LiveFor on December 16, 2009

By Richard Bodsworth

As 2009 comes to a close the inevitable “reviews of the year “come out to play like The Warriors. I always like to look back, build a list and maybe sadly watch my Top 10 in order. While I was compiling, I noticed that the vast majority of them were Science Fiction films and it dawned on me it has been one Hell of a year for Sci-Fi. Something we were sorely starved of last year with the likes of the wooden wonder boy Keanu Reeves in The Day The Earth Stood Still. So I thought it may be appropriate to have a look at the Sci-Fi films of the year, in what I guess you could call, “2009: The Year of Smart Sci-Fi”

It seems to be universally accepted within the film industry that you can’t make a low budget Science Fiction movie, it’s all got to be about effects, explosions and all that nonsense. Shit, if science was at all like it is in films I might have received a higher grade on my exam at school. However, with his debut feature film, MOON, director Duncan Jones managed to turn that notion on it’s head. Shot on a budget of £2.5m, Moon is a dark, thought provoking modern classic. Making use of retro effect techniques like miniatures, the lunar landscape and the vehicles look as entirely, if not more, authentic than in most films using excessive CGI. But with Moon, the visuals only serve as the backdrop for the psychological core as Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell) battles with the idea he may not be alone on the Lunar base. Jones’ direction coupled with the haunting score of Clint Mansell help create a claustrophobic environment not unlike that of Alien. Sam Rockwell’s tour de force performance is one of the best I have seen all year (bearing in mind I have yet to see Clooney’s Up in the Air) and hopefully there is a chance he will be acknowledged by The Academy come February‘s nominations.

Despite having a slightly bigger budget than Moon another debut feature director, Neil Blomkamp, showed you don’t need the net worth of a small country to make great Sci-Fi with the fantastic DISTRICT 9. After an alien spacecraft stops above Johannesburg, South Africa, the malnourished species onboard are given asylum on Earth. After a while some of the extraterrestrials become engaged in criminal activities with some becoming violent. As a result the human public want more control over the new arrivals. The government therefore sets up a secure camp called District 9, and the aliens – derogatorily referred to as “prawns” are sent there. However, crime again begins to spiral out of control and the camp becomes a shanty town. We follow one of the men in charge, Wikus (Sharlto Copley) of relocating the “prawns” to the new District 10. Filmed partially documentary style, the initial set up of showing how the aliens come to land on Earth is simply brilliant. Sharlto Copley’s improvised dialogue, especially during the relocation process, adds to the realism and builds a great character. Not unlike Moon, the film does feature some impressive visual effects but they are put on the back burner (for the first part of the film at least) as Blomkamp weaves the completely believable scenario with the underlying themes of xenophobia and the use of a privatised military. The final act does fall into action packed blockbuster territory but not without the thought provoking build up, all the more poignant by the country in which it is set. Under the watchful eye of Peter Jackson, you really wonder what the producer/director duo’s Halo could have been.

Sadly it seems lately, the best thing to do when times are tough is for big studios not to bother investing large sums of cash into original films and so we are spoon-fed the endless list of, sequels, prequels and reboots. While some are pointless, unoriginal and frankly crap (as I shall mention later), J.J. Abrams take on STAR TREK showed how it should be done. The film benefits immensely from the talented screenwriting combo of Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman. By using the time travel and alternate universe plot, the film is able not to disrupt the continuity set by the previous films and television series. I believe J.J. Abrams best attribute is his ability to pace a film perfectly, he showed this with MI:3 which is personally my favourite of the trilogy. This pacing makes sure we aren’t stuck in the almost boring plot points of an origins story, something Wolverine could have benefited from. Casting of the younger crew was also spot on, no actor overdoing their part and turning it into a parody. Critics may argue that the new film failed to portray the usual themes of the earlier incarnations, but I’m convinced the filmmakers did an excellent job with the amount of stuff they had to fit in as it was a prequel. It is intriguing to see what is next for the Enterprise.

While these were some of the highlights, there were also some spectacular failures this year including the laser blasting bukkake that was Michael Bay’s TRANSFORMERS 2: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN. After praising Orci and Kurtzman for Star Trek, their talents were nowhere to be seen in this loud, overlong, plot less monstrosity. It’s easy to Bay bash so I will stop, even though there is no chance he will because yet again suckers (myself included) queued up, paid the entrance fee, and there will continue to more films like it for years to come.

The daggers were already out before the film was released when McG was announced as director for the 4th Terminator outing in TERMINATOR SALVATION. Minds were momentarily put at ease after some footage was shown and I myself was genuinely excited… then I watched it. Just another plot less action film with too much shooting and not enough character, a high profile and talented cast ultimately wasted. I know some people enjoyed the film, even reading some 4 star reviews but isn’t this always the case? When a film with big expectations is released people think it is instantly great then after consideration and a few years down the line, opinion changes. See the Star Wars prequels, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull etc. It would be nice to see these big budget films concentrate a bit more on story instead of thinking about what can be blown up next.

So what can we expect in 2010’s Sci-Fi bundle? No doubt there will be a few surprises along with a few disappointments, but three films that should be marked on your film calendar include, Nimrod Antal’s PREDATORS. The film written and produced by Robert Rodriguez is apparently a direct sequel to the original 1987 Arnie classic, but that is yet to be confirmed, it is also rumoured the big man himself may even cameo as his original character, Dutch. Starring Adrien Brody, Topher Grace and Danny Trejo there is every chance it could be an ultimate flop, but here’s hoping Rodriguez knows what he’s doing. Cant be any worse than Alien vs. Predator: Requiem anyway.

Probably my most anticipated is Christopher Nolan’s, INCEPTION. The trailer is short, and all we really know about the plot is it‘s “contemporary science fiction action thriller set within the architecture of the mind”. But with a cast including Leonardo DiCaprio, Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger and the legendary Michael Caine how can you not be excited?

Finally at the end of the year TRON LEGACY. The footage already released has been simply breathtaking and word is it has come along way from that.

As you may have noticed, the biggest Sci-Fi film of the year and most probably the decade is not mentioned here. Sadly it has not yet been released. Look out for a separate Avatar review in the next few days.

A great article by Richard. Looking forward to the Avatar piece. Be sure to check out the LFF Review of the Year.

What have been your science fiction highlights and lowlights of the year?

Posted in Film, news, Review, Sci-Fi | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Peter Berg is not doing Dune

Posted by LiveFor on October 28, 2009

peter-bergPeter Berg has left the new adaptation of Dune, according to CHUD.

It turns out Berg has lots of things on the go at the moment and Dune has suffered because of it.

Apparantly, Neil Marshall (The Descent) and Neill Blomkamp (District 9) have both been contacted but I cannot see either of them doing it and to be honest I don’t think Dune will be made any time soon.

Maybe Peter Jackson should have a crack at Dune? Who would you want to see direct a Dune film not that Peter Berg has left the project?

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Neill Blomkamp doing another original sci-fi film next

Posted by LiveFor on October 23, 2009

neillblomkampMedia Rights Capital has committed to the next film by District 9 writer/director Neill Blomkamp. That low budget debut was a huge success so no wonder.

The untitled science fiction film will begin production by mid-2010. Bill Block will produce according to Variety.

Block, the CEO of QED, was first to commit funding to “District 9” before Sony’s Worldwide Acquisitions Group acquired the film based on a Blomkamp-created graphic novel. “District 9” became a breakout summer hit for Sony in the South African-born filmmaker’s feature debut.

The most surprising move, considering this is only his second feature, is that MRC is giving Blomkamp creative freedom and a production commitment. The director and Block will also get an ownership stake in the finished product.

Blomkamp will immediately start writing and preparing the visual effects. The film will be modest by sci-fi standards, but it will certainly cost more than “District 9,” the under-$30 million budget film that grossed more than $184 million worldwide.

Blomkamp made “District 9” under the guidance of Peter Jackson, who previously godfathered the director’s effort to make his feature debut on “Halo,” before the Microsoft vidgame adaptation was unplugged by Universal and Fox over budget concerns. Blomkamp said he harbors no bitterness over that slight, and sparked to an MRC scenario that guaranteed he’d be able to transfer his vision to the screen.

“MRC is letting me make the film I want to make and that is by far the most important thing here,” Blomkamp said. “The film will hopefully be commercial, but it is very much a singular film, that comes directly from me. `District 9’ was a bit different. I was learning the process then, under Peter Jackson’s wing. He had control, but was awesome enough to let me make the film I wanted to. Bill’s producing this with MRC, so the difference is Pete’s involvement.

“Pete was kind about pushing me for `Halo,’ which was a huge opportunity and huge risk. It was neither of our fault that the film collapsed. Creatively, I don’t operate from a place of revenge, so when I got into `District 9,’ `Halo’ was long gone from my mind. From Pete having such faith in me, to getting to know the people at Sony through the process of `District 9,’ I couldn’t be happier with the way things worked out.”

“I’m not particularly interested in massive budget films, or creating huge spectacles that some young directors might be attracted to,” he said. “Hopefully, this will be a bit unique, very much a reflection of me. It is absolutely another science fiction film, quite different from `District 9,’ but some of the blending of genres and the tone might be within the same realm.”

Glad to see that Blomkamp is not going the sequel route with his next film and it is always good to see something new and original.

As usual I’ll keep you posted on the project.

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UPDATED: The A-Team – Sharlto Copley to be Murdock and Jessica Biel joins the cast

Posted by LiveFor on September 16, 2009

UPDATE 26/11/09 – Now Dirk Benedict has confirmed he has a cameo.

UPDATE: Dwight Schultz has got a cameo in the film

Now there is footage and interviews with the actors. Now the first official photo of the team is out.

Sharlto Copley, the star of this summer’s breakout hit “District 9,” is in final negotiations to portray “Howling Mad” Murdock in Fox’s A-Team feature film. Jessica Biel is also in negotiations to join the production according to THR Heat Vision.

They will join Liam Neeson (Hannibal), Bradley Cooper (Face) and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (BA) to round out the special forces team convicted of a crime they didn’t commit and on the run from government forces. Joe Carnahan is directing the adaptation of the 1980s television show, while Ridley and Tony Scott produce.

Copley seemingly came out of nowhere to star in “District 9,” landing the role in the movie due to childhood friend Neill Blomkamp’s fondness for Copley’s improvisational skills, skills which will be ideally suited to the Murdock character.

Murdock was the wild card of the group, the Army’s best chopper pilot who is also suffering, in an over-the-top manner, from delusions, memory loss, and hallucinations. Dwight Shultz originated the role in the TV series.

Biel would play the former love of Faceman (Cooper), an Army general who is now pursuing the team.

Copley as Murdock is inspired casting in my opinion and great to see him move on from District 9 to this.

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District 9, 2009 – Movie Review

Posted by LiveFor on August 17, 2009

Director: Neill Blomkamp
Starring: Sharlto Copley, Jason Cope, Nathalie Boltt, Sylvaine Strike
Running Time: 112 minutes

This review by Travis Tidmore of the excellent CineManiac.

The best advice I can give you about District 9 is to stop reading this review. In fact don’t read any reviews, just get your keys, get in the car, and head to the theater. Seriously, stop reading. Well if you’re still reading this you’ve either already seen it, or you’re just stubborn, so I might as well go on. The reason I said to stop reading is simple, I knew almost nothing about this movie when I saw it, and I think it made the experience that much more. In a time when most trailers give away the entire movie, District 9 is a rare exception, a movie which, like Cloverfield, plays it close to the vest in their ads, and as such makes for a much more rich experience.

District 9 is set in an alternate Johannesburg, South Africa over which an enormous alien spacecraft has hovered for the past 20 years. Over the years the humans and “prawns”, as the aliens are known, haven’t had the best relationship, getting so bad that the government has placed the entire prawn population (1.8 million) into a fenced off area known as District 9. As the movie opens the government has hired a weapons contractor to assist them in moving the prawns from District 9 to District 10, which is located well away from any humans. In essence the government has set up their own alien concentration camp.

The man in charge of this operation is Wikus van der Merwe (Sharlto Copley), a nerdy office worker whose father is the owner of the company (no nepotism here!). As you can imagine a small group humans trying to evict 1.8 aliens doesn’t go smoothly. And that is all I’ll tell you about the plot. I know its not much, but trust me you’ll thank me later.

What I can say is this is one of the best scifi movies I’ve seen in years (since Donnie Darko to be exact) and possibly the best all around movie I’ve seen this year. Director Neill Blomkamp comes out of the gate with one of the most impressive debuts in years. (Again I think back to Donnie Darko and its promising director Richard Kelly and hope that Blomkamp capitalizes on his success a bit more than Kelly did.) But possibly the most amazing part of Blomkamp’s debut is seeing what he can do with only $30 million.

With a limited budget, Blomkamp has done more than Michael Bay has done in both of the Transformers combined. The prawns are amazing and look real enough to touch, they’re so good in fact I think if real aliens showed up they might look fake next to them. And Blomkamp has done a great job of combining a great story with some amazing action pieces. But be prepared, said action pieces are quite graphic in the violence department.

Of course I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the social side of the movie. District 9 is of course at its heart an allegory for apartheid. And Blomkamp does what only a good director can do, he makes an allegorical film that doesn’t shove the message down the viewers throat. What he does do is plant a seed in your mind that will stay with you long after you’ve left the theater.

In the end the movie is an amazing scifi action film that in a dream world would be nominated for an Academy Award. But I fear that it may have to settle with amazing reviews, lots of cash, and a large fan base.

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District 9 made quite a bit of cash in the USA

Posted by LiveFor on August 17, 2009

17th August, 2009. Sony Pictures Releasing are delighted to announce that humans rushed into DISTRICT 9 this weekend as the movie stormed straight to #1 at the US box office, taking an incredible $37million.

DISTRICT 9 will be open to UK-based humans on 4 September 2009.

Over twenty years ago, aliens made first contact with Earth. Humans waited for the hostile attack, or the giant advances in technology. Neither came. Instead, the aliens were refugees from their home world. The creatures were set up in a makeshift home in South Africa’s District 9 as the world’s nations argued over what to do with them.

Now, patience over the alien situation has run out. Control over the aliens has been contracted out to Multi-National United (MNU), a private company uninterested in the aliens’ welfare. MNU will receive tremendous profits if they can make the aliens’ powerful weaponry work. So far, they have failed; activation of the weaponry requires alien DNA.

The tension between the aliens and the humans comes to a head when MNU begins evicting the non-humans from District 9, with MNU field agents responsible for moving them to a new camp. One of the MNU field operatives, Wikus van der Merwe (Sharlto Copley), contracts an alien virus that begins changing his DNA. Wikus quickly becomes the most hunted man in the world, as well as the most valuable – he is the key to unlocking the secrets of alien technology. Ostracized and friendless, there is only one place left for him to hide: District 9.

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District 9 – TV Spot – They Rise

Posted by LiveFor on August 6, 2009

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