The plot of “District 9” centers around a group of aliens in Johannesburg, South Africa that no one knows anything about at the outset. Likewise the film’s director and talent are unknowns, though I suspect they will be quite famous (and treated much better) in short order when this film opens. Indeed, I suspect Blomkamp is the new onomatopoeia for the sound of success.
First time feature director, South African Neill Blomkamp came to the project when he came to the attention of “District 9” producer, Peter Jackson. It’s a long winded tale about Jackson looking for a fresh director to take on a film version of the video game “Halo” – it folded under financial pressures and led them to develop the comparably low-budget “District 9,” which is based off of a short that Blomkamp made in 2005 called “Alive in Joburg.”
The soundtrack too is made up of South African players, most notably Zola. Not exactly a newcomer, he did the soundtrack for the film, “Tsotsi” set in Johannesburg (also playing the character Fela) which took the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 2006.
Sharlto Copley (how do they construct these names?) a total newcomer stars as the heavily blown out Wikus Van De Merwe. Copley, a former TV producer, is an old work pal of Blomkamp’s and reportedly gave him his first job. It seems the director insisted on returning the favor and casting Copley as the lead in his first film [EW]
In politics that’s called cronyism, but in film, that’s love. “District 9” opens tomorrow, Aug 14th.
“Alive in Joburg”