Neill Blomkamp’s District 9 Trailer

district9teaser

Alright, so here’s the back story on District 9 for those who aren’t familiar with it. A couple years ago, Neill Blomkamp was Peter Jackson’s choice to direct the Halo movie (back before the project fell apart). A lot of people felt that he was unproven since he had never directed a feature film before, but he had been chosen based on the strength of his short film Alive in Joburg, among other things. Now Peter Jackson has decided to put a decent budget behind Blomkamp in order to allow him to expand that short into a full movie.

The first teaser trailer has gone online over at Apple, and I have to say, I’m pretty blown away by what I see. I knew it was going to be a documentary-style take on a future world where aliens are forced to live like second-class citizens among humans… but still, I didn’t expect it to be quite so convincing. The effects blend seamlessly, and all the acting is 100% believable. Granted, we don’t see a ton of action here, but this is easily one of my most anticipated movies of the summer. Whether or not he gets another shot at the Halo movie, I think this is going to legitimize Blomkamp as a brilliant and capable director. Check out the trailer below and see what you think (I’ll add an embedded version when it becomes available). District 9 hits theatres on August 14th.

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  • Neil M

    Is this going to get a wide release? It looks pretty promising.

  • http://www.catharticentertainment.com/ rus in chicago

    God, I love this guy’s shit and the website associated with this film is so over-the-top brilliant! The trailer is starting to look to clean which I think is taking away from the visceral affect of the earlier work. I hope he uses a mix of resolutions for different parts of the film – HD overall footage, grainy POV soldier cams, found video from pedestrians!

  • http://thefilmnest.com ProdSon@TheFilmNest

    The pixelized face on the alien is a pretty sweet idea.

  • http://www.rowthree.com Kurt

    Alien Nation, The Day The Earth Stood Still, V, Starship Troopers. Man this pushes all the right buttons for me. Loving it. We need more science fiction like this. 2009 is proving to be a banner year for these types of things with Moon on the horizon.

  • http://www.rowthree.com Kurt

    I should also mention that this has a bit of (in conception and in style) of WILD BLUE YONDER, yet taking it out of the ambient/art-house/cult zone of Herzog’s movie and clearly into the blockbuster mainstream. I like when movies do this mix (The Fountain, Sunshine, etc.)

  • http://www.ryanmarlow.com Ryan M.

    The concept is awesome and I’m looking forward to this even though the design is so uninspired. That spaceship looks very human in design and that alien type has been seen too many times. Still, awesome idea is awesome.

  • 1138

    I like the idea too and was really impressed until I saw ship and the bug in the interrogation room. The ship looks straight out of Independence day and the bug also looks to familiar. I love the premise I just hope there is more of a surprise coming.

  • mike

    “I think this is going to legitimize Blomkamp as a brilliant and capable director.”

    you sure give a lot of credit based on a trailer…

  • http://www.seandwyer.net Sean

    What can I say… some people are wetting themselves over the Transformers trailer. I find this a lot more interesting.

  • swarez

    “you sure give a lot of credit based on a trailer…”

    And his past work which have been equally brilliant. This is the guy that proved that a Transformers movie was possible and his Citroen commercial was used to convince the studios that it could be done.

  • Colin

    Interesting trailer, but I gotta agree with Ryan on the design of the creature. Really? Another bug-monster?

    Why can’t anyone design an alien that looks, like, weird?

  • http://www.filmjunk.com Jay C.

    Is the design of the creature really the selling point for you guys on this thing? I couldn’t care less.

    The film looks amazing to me.

  • http://blog.filmrot.com Dave

    Jay, I’m on board with you here, but on that other site you could get more leverage by screaming at a brick wall. You might also feel better by doing so.

  • swarez

    Jay, love the discussion on TMB.

  • Neil M

    Yeah, that Movie Blog discussion was good stuff. It really hit the spot before bed.

  • http://www.rowthree.com Kurt

    Had to rubber neck the TMB stuff myself. Left a comment there, but likely will not pass thru the moderation process.

  • http://www.filmjunk.com Jay C.

    Kurt, feel free to share your thoughts here.

    The discussion is bringing out my inner passionate commenter. Although I should probably be spending all of that typing time working on my Hot Docs reviews!

  • Tomas

    Looks great can’t wait to see it. Funnily enough they set in South Africa….I thought Gaza/West Bank in Israel would have been just as good. The Palestinians can at least relate to these aliens. (oh wait, “aliens” will need a new PC name…like “extra worldly visitors” or some shite like that)

  • mrbenning

    I get the feeling we’re supposed to identify with the buggy alien who appears to be giving up information, hence why he doesn’t look too weird.

    Why’s it so easy to be scared of one of Ridley Scott’s aliens? Because they’re bizarre and scary.

  • http://www.rowthree.com Kurt

    Still Stuck in Moderation over at TMB:

    “kurt says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    May 1, 2009 at 11:28 pm

    Let me also echo the weird Anti-PeterJackson tone on The Movie Blog. I’ve gotten into it more than once on John C.’s harsh comments in regards to Jackson, and (i guess by association) Neill Blomkamp.

    I also find it strange how this site seems to aggressively get its back up with new and interesting approaches to filmmaking (Zodiac, Where the Wild Things Are, District-9) and/or classic hommages (Death Proof) or low-key stories (Adventureland). It all boils down to taste, but I nominate the tagline be “Official Home of Multiplex Fodder and Special Effects driven Comic Book Action pictures”

    It seems very strange that this site was once almost morphed into a SCI-Fi only blog, yet can’t tell a potentially interesting science-fiction picture when looking it in the face.

    /end criticism”

  • http://www.catharticentertainment.com/ rus in chicago

    I got your back on TMB Jay C.

  • swarez

    Yebb, Rodney’s logic is weak at best and seems to be lapping up what Campea said back in the day.
    It’s come to that they simply lock you out of the discussion if they feel their views are challenged, have had that happen a few times.

  • Neil M

    Man, the more I watch this trailer, the more hot and bothered I get. That shot of the ship from the chopper looks incredible.

  • http://www.catharticentertainment.com/ rus in chicago

    I got this posted then removed on TMB:

    [How do I prove a negative you idiot. Its your conspiracy theory, you keep claiming it, YOU PROVE IT. You can't because 1) you were not part of the discussions and 2) every movie is a push / pull between the creatives and the financiers on establishing a budget.

    This is the ONLY official release on the shelving and it has more evidence leading to a simple dispute between producer and financiers on budget versus expectations then any of the Bloomkamp distrust you cultivate:

    "As was previously confirmed, we deeply regret that both Universal and Fox did not choose to move forward with financing the Halo film under the original terms of the agreement," it stated. "At this time Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh, along with their partner, Microsoft, have mutually agreed to postpone making a feature film based on the Halo video game universe until we can fulfill the promise we made to millions of Halo fans throughout the world that we would settle for no less than bringing a first class film to the big screen. We are fully supportive of Director Neill Blomkamp's vision of the film. Neill is a tremendously gifted filmmaker and his preliminary work on Halo is truly awe-inspiring. While it will undoubtedly take a little longer for Halo to reach the big screen, we are confident that the final feature film will be well worth the wait."

    Go ahead Rodney prove your point with evidence or shut the fuck up! And don't link to any of the thousand of blog opinions about Microsoft's actions. Give us real evidence you hack!]

    What a spineless bastard!

  • http://blog.filmrot.com Dave

    If it makes you guys feel any better, I never let Rodney comment on eclecticgamer when it was up. Turn about’s fair play.

    Oh, and you know why John and Rodney don’t let scathing criticism get posted on TMB? Because there are so many straw men there the whole site would go up in flames.

  • http://blog.filmrot.com Dave
  • http://blog.filmrot.com Dave

    Also, Jay, you should demand compensation from the ad words that are appearing in your comments over there. Simian Play, based out of Singapore, are profiting off words *you* wrote over there. I would demand nothing less than a cashier’s check made out to the amount of $36.43, or the cost of John’s narrative film.

  • Justice

    As someone who lives on the frontline of the controversy over illegal immigration (Phoenix), this movie looks like it can strike a lot of important chords. I’ve heard nearly everyone of those statements from the actors from people here. I’m hoping it follows in the fine tradition (Night of the Living Dead, Invasion of the Body Snatchers) of horror/sci-fi films pushing cultural envelopes. Lackluster design or not, that’s a personal taste issue, but hey, I thought the Cloverfield monster looked cool, so what do I know.

  • EyeGod

    As a South African myself, and former employee of the directors who mentored Blomkamp in his youth while he was still starting out as an animator in Johannesburg, South Africa, I cannot begin to explain to you on how many levels this film is important – especially to the South African industry. Our industry has been bogged down by films which deal with our past – apartheid – and finally a film comes around which contains elements of this past, and repackages them as something original, unique, and new. Never before have South Africans fathomed their country as one that can be invaded by aliens. Furthermore, one cannot help but wonder if the film serves as a commentary on apartheid, or on the wave of xenophobic violence which swept through South Africa in 2008 due to the Zimbabwean crisis. Perhaps the subtext which this film will undoubtedly contain will deal with both issues. It’s my hope that this film isn’t purely allegory, but that it deals with the important issues metaphorically, with a primary emphasis on entertaining. Needless to say I’m extremely excited about what this means for the South African film industry (I’m a director myself) and I’ve been following Blomkamp’s career with great interest. All the power to him – I hope that one day even Halo may become a reality.

  • Claudia

    Well, finally someone made some interesting comments about the story in the film and about how delicately it touches certain fibers of humankind and what we are doing with our fellow citizens.
    It is true that the South African history has a lot to tell us and it is also evident that Blomkamp chose Johannesburg for a reason, but it is also true that the story reflects humankind as a whole extrapolating the South African experience to the rest of the world.
    I’m both glad that so many people are opening eyes and that good filmmaking serves this purpose.

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