Chappie Child’s Play
After his blistering, multi- Oscar nominated debut District 9, director Neill Blomkamp’s 2013 follow- up Elysium suffered from a classic case of difficult second album syndrome. With his new film Chappie, the story of a sentient robot who learns about life in the real world, Blomkamp is returning to early principles – co- writing with his wife Terri Tatchell ( Elysium was scripted by Blomkamp solo), filming in Johannesburg and taking inspiration from one of his own shorts, “Tetra Vaal”. Though as Tatchell explains, Chappie is more than a simple adaptation.
“‘ Tetra Vaal’ isn’t really a short film, it’s an advert, there’s no story in it really,” she tells Red Alert. “I almost buckle at the fact Neill’s idea is considered an adaptation because I feel Chappie is an original film.”
The pair found the experience of writing District 9 so all- consuming that working together again was almost off the cards for good. “When he pitched Chappie to me at that point we said we’d never work together again, but I literally fell to my knees and said, ‘ Please let me write this with you. I love this idea.’
“Writing Chappie was no problem at all, but I was so passionate about District 9. It changed and evolved so much that I would wake up in the middle of night, shake him awake and say,