Director Neill Blomkamp Talks HALO Movie, DISTRICT 10, Adaptations vs Original Work and Possibly Adapting Iconic Hollywood Movies and Characters

by     Posted 1 year, 175 days ago

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After a screening of some footage from his upcoming sci-fi feature Elysium, writer/director Neill Blomkamp (District 9) talked about other projects he has varying levels of involvement in.  He touched on his learning experience with the defunct Halo picture, possible sequels to his breakout film District 9 and his stance on directing original material, sequels to his own films and adapting popular properties.  Blomkamp also teased a bit about iconic cinematic characters that he would love to get his hands on but is a bit too apprehensive about taking them on completely.

Hit the jump to see what he had to say and be sure to check back later for more on this special event for Elysium, due out August 9th.

District-10-neill blomkampWhen asked whether he preferred to continue doing original films or to adapt popular properties, Blomkamp spoke briefly about the Halo film and more, saying:

I don’t think I actively sit down and say, “I’m going to do my own stuff and that I want everything to be original.” One of the things I learned with Halo … I actually still really like the universe and the world of Halo and the mythology of Halo.  If I was given control, I would like to do that film, but that’s the problem. When something pre-exists, there’s this idea of “I have my interpretation of what that is,” but along with it comes like 150 other people involved with the film’s interpretation of the same intellectual property and then the entire film-going audience has their interpretation that you can live up to or fail in their eyes. And that part of it isn’t appealing to me. But the original pieces are appealing.

district_9_official_movie_poster_02_Although popular adaptations don’t seem to be of particular interest to Blomkamp, he appears willing to further explore his own material for sequels if the story warrants it:

In terms of sequels to my own stuff, I think a lot of it just comes down to if there’s just more to say. I think the world of District 9 has a lot of very interesting race and oppression-based ideas that I would still like to explore in that world. Again, I have zero problems… I’ll make my own stuff or whatever you want to call it, sequel-ize my own stuff.

Finally, Blomkamp talked about his eagerness and anxiety in adapting some iconic Hollywood characters, but wouldn’t give any details as to which ones he was considering:

And then there’s a few pieces of cinema history that I like so much, I don’t know whether I could be involved with them. There’s iconic characters that I really like that I would love to get closer to and make a film about. When I start dipping my toes into it, I get this allergic reaction. Maybe one day I’ll end up doing something like that.

For more on Elysium, click here.

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  • Tom Fun

    This man would be perfect for a bounty hunter Star Wars spin off movie. Has that rare ability to portray a realistic future that isn’t shiny and perfect but dirty and broken.

    • rich woa

      Doesnt seem like a rare ability to me. He just made one good sci fi film. Anyone can make a film about a future thats dirty and broken.

      • Tom Fun

        You’re right. That ‘anybody’ you mention is probably Ridley Scott, James Cameron, Steven Spielberg, and Duncan Jones. Guess I’m just excited to hear this guy could be the real deal and not another one trick pony!

      • Rich woa

        Haha, Rian Johnson, Wachowski Brothers/sister, Andrew Stanton, Roger Christian, Francis Lawrence, Joseph McGinty Nichol, Luc Besson, Tim Burton. Should I stop? All these movie either suck or good because of the story… not just because of the future being dirty and broken.

      • Um, Sure

        “Should I stop?”

        You should have stopped before you chose to downplay the merits of talent.

      • Rich woa

        They vary since he asked I gave example of directors who have done good sci fi vs bad sci fi movies with dirty and broken future.

      • Rich woa

        and what talent are you talking about? Making a movie about a future thats broken and dirty? You dont seem too sure as your name suggest …ummm sure

    • Unfortunately

      Unfortunately he might be a semi one trick pony, at least in terms of story. If you read the script that leaked last summer you’ll that it is practically the D9 story copy and pasted with new dressing and setting. Damon goes through a shockingly similar set of events to Copley’s character, one after another after another. From being poisoned while working for an evil company, spending hole movie trying to fix it, attacking the evil company to steal something, trying to get to a big object in the sky. Tons of other things. I’ve seen other people mention this too. The skeleton is the same with new skin. If this was a D9 sequel it would be accused to just repeating the first film. Worse than even Terminator 1 and Terminator 2, which kind of made a poetry out of the mirrored events with direct dialogue and moments lifted, even if T2 was essentially a remake. This one feels like it was hidden, or unconsciously done.

      • carpooltunnel

        I will say that the “same story” complaint is not a deterrent for me. Think about auteurs (with only one feature under his belt, we might balk at calling Blomkamp an auteur, but there are hints to it in his need for complete control), and other famous artists of other mediums who have specific visions. Often they tell the same story in their works over and over and over and over. It’s been said that the best writers only have one story. A sort of cheesy example is Woody Allen. One could say that he has simply always made the exact same film with certain elements varied. Thematically, similar things can be said for the likes of Kubrick, Hemingway, Waits, Wes Anderson, Sorkin, Mamet, etc. I’m not necessarily comparing Blomkamp to those folks, but my point is in the fact that the “same story with a new coat of paint” is not a bad thing for me when it comes from an artist I enjoy.

  • Cahoot

    Well said Tom! I am really, really hoping that that is the universe that he wants to play in.

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  • carpooltunnel

    I sort of wish Blomkamp would have been tapped for the Robocop reboot. I think the similarities in thematics and character arc between Robocop and D9 would have served the reboot well. I like Jose Padhilla’s work, but I am worried about the slight melodramatic bent he infuses into his gritty works. Also, on a slight side note, “gritty” in general is sort of out for me. I don’t want shiny polish, so to speak, but “gritty” has gotten to the point where it is nothing but polish.

  • carpooltunnel

    I sort of wish Blomkamp would have been tapped for the Robocop reboot. I think the similarities in thematics and character arc between Robocop and D9 would have served the reboot well. I like Jose Padhilla\’s work, but I am worried about the slight melodramatic bent he infuses into his gritty works. Also, on a slight side note, \"gritty\" in general is sort of out for me. I don\’t want shiny polish, so to speak, but \"gritty\" has gotten to the point where it is nothing but polish.

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  • PHinMiami

    District 10, please.

    The original movie set-up a natural progression to a sequel, better than most. Storyline shouldn’t be that difficult. Bring on the cat food!

  • bob

    I WANT DISTRICT 9 PART 2 /DISTRICT 10 PLEASE!!!

  • bob

    I WANT DISTRICT 9 PART 2 /DISTRICT 10 PLEASE!!!

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