New Neill Blomkamp movie Chappie has begun production in South Africa – with Hugh Jackman, Dev Patel and Sigourney Weaver confirmed as its stars.
Chappie will revolve around a “ridiculous” robot with distinctive rabbit ears, and is based on a Blomkamp’s own 2003 short film Tetra Vaal.
Blomkamp, the writer/director of District 9 and Elysium, has penned the screenplay with District 9 co-writer Terri Tatchell – and Blomkamp regular Sharlto Copley will voice the titular character.
An official synopsis for the film has just been released:
“After being kidnapped by two criminals during birth, Chappie becomes the adopted son in a strange and dysfunctional family. Chappie is preternaturally gifted, one of a kind, a prodigy. He also happens to be a robot.”
There’s no word yet on which specific roles the rest of the principal cast will play, though it’s certainly tempting to picture Jackman and Weaver working their comic chops as members of a “strange and dysfunctional family”.
Blomkamp has established himself as sci-fi’s hottest new director in recent years. District 9 was nominated for four Oscars back in 2010, including Best Picture.
Elysium, starring Matt Damon as an augmented warrior who invades a luxury space station, was released in August and has since grossed nearly $300 million.
Chappie is set to hit cinemas on March 27, 2015.