District 9 director's latestI’ve made no secret of my love for District 9, a movie that, the more I think about it, may not just be one of my favorite movies of the year, but possibly of all time (I’ll require some more time and a few more viewings before I can confidently make a declaration on the latter). So naturally I’m incredibly interested in whatever director Neill Blomkamp is planning next.
According to Variety, Blomkamp has inked a deal with independent producer Media Rights Capital for an untitled sci-fi movie due to begin production in the middle of next year. The director seems to be keeping details of the project under wraps for the time being, and while this new film will have a larger budget than District 9’s relatively meager price tag of under $30 million, it’ll still be a somewhat small movie by Hollywood standards (and Blomkamp will have full creative control as well as an ownership stake in the finished film), and that’s apparently suits Blomkamp just fine. From the Variety article:
“MRC is letting me make the film I want to make and that is by far the most important thing here,” Blomkamp said. “The film will hopefully be commercial, but it is very much a singular film, that comes directly from me. District 9 was a bit different. I was learning the process then, under Peter Jackson’s wing. He had control, but was awesome enough to let me make the film I wanted to.”
The only thing that has me more psyched about a new Neill Blomkamp movie is the fact that he’s sticking with science fiction. As much as the craftsmanship on display in District 9 suggests Blomkamp could make a kickass movie in just about any genre he chooses, the prospect him doing a movie set on an alien planet of some kind fills me with nerd-glee. I will most definitely be following this movie as it develops.
Switching from one of my beloved genres to another, most North American audiences know Hong Kong cinema legend Yuen Woo-Ping as the fight choreographer from The Matrix, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Kill Bill, but serious kung fu fans know he’s a film director in his own right, having helmed cult classics like Jet Li’s Fist of Legend (widely held as Li’s best movie ever), Tai Chi Master and Iron Monkey. He hasn’t directed a film since 1996, which makes news that he’s returning behind the camera for a new film, True Legend, all the more exciting.
Now, I know nothing about True Legend other than its title, its cast (which includes Michelle Yeoh, Jay Chou (who will play Kato in the upcoming Seth Rogen revamp of The Green Hornet), David Carradine in one of his final roles, and a criminally underappreciated Hong Kong martial arts actor named Chieu Man Cheuk. I’ve liked Chieu, who seems to be the lead in True Legend, since I saw him replace Jet Li in the Once Upon A Time In China film series (Li was in the first three and Chieu replaced him in the fourth and fifth movie; Li then returned for the sixth), as well as the wonderfully dark, arty kung fu flick The Blade. I never did understand why Chieu didn’t seem to really break out, as he’s a blast to watch fight. Regardless, he’s all over the trailer for True Legend (he’s the hobo-looking guy), which is below.
I have no idea when True Legend will be released in North America, if at all (it comes out in Hong Kong next year), but with the cast and crew involved, I’d be surprised if Dragon Dynasty doesn’t swoop in and secure the rights. Oh! I almost forgot one of the best parts: True Legend is apparently in 3D. Again, no clue what that will mean for a possible North American release, but the idea of Yuen Woo-Ping directing a 3D kung fu movie is ridiculous and fantastic.
Enjoy the trailer for True Legend, courtesy of the fine folks at Twitch.