Next year, Neill Blomkamp will release his new project Chappie, which looks to be more in the vein of District 9 than the underwhelming Elysium. Judging from the first trailer, this story of a childlike robot (played via motion-capture by Sharlto Copley) seems to pull inspiration from not only District 9, but also A.I.: Artificial Intelligence, Real Steel, and even a little bit of E.T.
Set in South Africa, Chappie is loosely based on Blomkamp’s satricial short “Tetra Vaal.” At first, it sounds like a raunchy dramedy: Chappie, the first machine who can think and feel “and have original ideas,” is kidnapped by two gangsters (Ninja and Yolandi Visser, from the rap-rave duo Die Antwoord) to use his talents for crime.
But at the same time, it looks like a surprising heartwarming story: They raise Chappie like a child, even consoling him when he doesn’t fit in to society. They’re aided by his creator (Dev Patel), who thinks Chappie could be the next step in evolution. Not everyone agrees, however: Hugh Jackman (sporting a mullet) goes against his robot-training Real Steel persona and wants all A.I.s turned into scrap metal.
And then, of course, you’ve got the cool motion-capture work from Copley. Watch the trailer:
Chappie comes to theaters March 6, 2015.