I can't wait to go to District 9It’s not often that a trailer hits the web for a movie I’ve never heard of. Even before this blog, I spent a lot of time reading movie news websites, so I’m usually pretty on-the-ball about upcoming movies. So imagine my surprise when the trailer for District 9 turned up online last week, immediately vaulting it to the upper reaches of the list of movies I am absolutely dying to see this summer. (It’s now a toss-up between it and Michael Mann’s Public Enemies).
The premise of District 9 seems to be that it’s a faux-documentary about aliens who have landed in South Africa. The primary difference between it and most other movies about aliens is that the visitors in this movie appear to be more like refugees than invaders. It’s the feature debut from South African commercial director and visual effects guy Neill Blomkamp, who I first heard about a few years back when he was attached to helm an adaptation of Microsoft’s massively successful Halo videogame franchise for producer Peter Jackson. After the news broke that the unknown Blomkamp was making the Halo movie, I (and many other movie geeks) found a short film he made called Alive In Joburg, which he’s apparently expanded into District 9. (The Halo movie eventually fell through when the two studios that had signed on to co-finance the film balked at the skyrocketing budget, and it’s too bad – Blomkamp’s documentary style in a movie about a war with aliens could have made Halo the first legitimately interesting videogame adaptation, and the thought of the design and effects team behind Lord of the Rings doing Halo probably would have been awesome. Oh well.)
But I’m digressing. The District 9 trailer knocked me on my proverbial ass; this is a movie about aliens that looks like nothing I’ve seen before. And it seems like Blomkamp, as he did in Alive In Joburg, is using his concept to explore real-life issues surrounding refugees and xenophobia, something not enough science fiction movies do these days. I’ve got high hopes for this one.