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District 9_Believe the Hype

District 9 Hype

by Roger Young / 05.08.2009

District 9 is a science fiction movie shot in Soweto. How it came about is one of those incredible stories that make you feel as if everything is possible and then also a little sad because this particular story only happens once and it didn’t happen to you. Neill Blomkamp made some short films and some commercials. Somehow Peter Jackson (of Lord of the Rings fame) saw them and decided that Blomkamp would be a good person to turn Halo into a movie. They worked together on that project for a few months and then it kinda fell apart on a rights issue.

Jackson still wanted to work with Blomkamp, so he basically raised the money and let him make whatever movie he wanted to. Which is District 9: a film about aliens being segregated from humans and how one human deals with his own South African upbringing in the face of this. It’s going to be the biggest South African film ever (even if it was financed from outside the country) and announces firmly the beginning of a commercially successful international SA cinema paradigm. And as an added bonus – maybe people will stand up and recognize that Robert Hobbs is one of our finest actors.

District 9 showed last week at comic-con in San Diego and went down a storm. Hype is building all over America as you read this. It will release stateside two weeks before us. The fact that Jackson had such faith in an untested director is the best thing about it. It’s also pretty rad that the trailer doesn’t give too much away and I’m stoked that the lead, Sharlto Copley, is an unknown who had never acted before this. Mad props to Peter Jackson for making this happen.

District 9_Believe the Hype 2

Releases 28th August@SK nationwide.

Check this link to the short film that started it all: http://www.spyfilms.com/#neill_blomkamp/alive_in_joburg

And check out the D9 website here… we’ll hit you with a proper review when we see it next week.

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  1. suburban says:

    Sharlto Copley used to work as a director / producer of high-end film and video FX in Cape Town. Blomkamp and him worked on the dancing robo-car commercial (see it?). Unlike actors that start out in front of, then dodge behind the camera, it’s completely bizarre that Sharlto did it the other way around!

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  2. Andy says:

    I, personally, cannot wait for this. Don’t let me down Blomkamp and Jackson. Don’t want any bloody hobbits running around Soweto

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  3. Tara says:

    Humans please use the left Entrance, Aliens to the right.

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  4. wors says:

    it’s reigstered as a ‘new zealand’ film – much like ‘disgrace’ is australian – three cheers for the NFVF, the boradcasters and all other fkd up stakeholders

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  5. Rabble says:

    Anyone else seeing the correlation between the inverted “6” segregation and the recent Xenophobic attacks¿

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  6. HBS says:


    I don’t know what you mean by “6” but the idea of this film (Alive in Joburg, the short film by said director, that this movie is based off of) is way older than the xenophobe attacks…

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  7. Andy says:

    Rabble, I saw the movie yesterday, review coming soon. That connection is 100%. It’s basically a huge sci fi action flick based on the premise that we (south african) humans treat “others” like total shit.

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  8. Nathan Zeno says:

    wors – It’s financed by Jacksons company (basically) but WORSE!!!! Bloemkamp immigrated to Canada when he was 18! Its worse that disgrace, now we’re being scolded by turncoat Canadians.

    Here’s a question, when somebody leaves or is outside a particular paradigm, do they still have the right to comment on it?

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  9. Fud says:

    Seeing as people have left because of the paradigm, I guess that entitles them to comment on. Your history is your history and simply because you seek to control your own future to some degree shouldn’t disenfranchise your heritage.

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  10. Theresa says:

    Nathan, and Andy

    You should relax – there’s no scolding, and the film is not about how South Africans treat one another. I saw it today here in Vancouver, Canada, and it’s wonderful, and very funny in parts. Sharlto is a revelation! South Africans are not scolded either.
    Turncoat? What an old-fashioned, narrow view? Surely South Africans are free to practice their art anywhere in the world without judgement…and also to comment to any paradym they like. Stop being so sensitive! And this film is very obviously South African, and something we should all be proud of.
    Theresa (A South African living in Vancouver)

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  11. Andy says:

    Hey I never called him a turncoat – and what I dig most about the movie is how South African it is… so direct yon comment at Nathan

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  12. Nathan Zeno. says:

    My apologies, I should have indicated *Ironic Indignation*

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  13. Patrick says:

    I’ve just seen the movie in Texas. It’s great. The audience loved it.
    SA should be proud.

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  14. Swam says:

    District 9 is excellent…. if you can imagine something like Bladerunner in Soweto complete with a Wikus Van Der Merwe joke and all the other stuff cunningly packaged as the sneak summer blockbuster of 2009…

    It’s so proudly Safrican but not in your face and a very appropriate response from a young South African trying to make sense of it all. This movie is many movies from buddy movie to summer block buster but every pixel is soaked in apartheid, how the rich treat the poor, zenophobia, how we see ourselves, zenophobia…. dam, its deep stuff.

    They started shooting it in Soweto last year around the time the xenophobia attacks began.

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  15. michael says:

    I just pasted somethin from wiki on fb a few days ago about the ‘worst’ scifi flick ever made – it was made in SA in 1988 – now it seems we might have the best scifi ever made… 🙂 maybe the universe does balance… I havn’t seen it yet but I like the graphics – very dusty and realistic – and the story line goes very deep too – looks brilliant – can’t wait! 🙂

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  16. Al says:

    Saw it this morning, and loved it. Well done to all involved. Audience loved it.

    This move has just a bit more in it for anyone that knows SA, so enjoy.

    Just might see it this afternoon as well.

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  17. Ron Alain says:

    The info on this site is wrong! The movie was NOT shot in Soweto. It was shot in District 9 in Johannesburg, which in situated near the Eastern side, Soweto is situated south-west of Johannesburg. I’d know since I live in Hyde Park, South Africa.

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  18. Johan says:

    Brilliant! Brilliant! Brilliant!!! Loved the Wikus character, I think a lot of South Africans will relate to him…

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  19. Regina says:

    The movie was excellent! My b/friend’s friends missed out on it on Friday so when they go see it we will be going again. It deserves a second watch in my opinion.

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  20. Clive says:

    Haven’t seen it yet, but heard all good things about it. To keep it South African, here’s a funny ad ripping off the crime in the country… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vrcs5ueEMI

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  21. Tilla says:

    this is the best sci-fi movie i’ve seen in a long long time. i am utterly amazed and in awe of the absolute thrill i had throughtout the entire movie. i watched it last night and am still smiling. it is gripping and very well made. neill blomkamp and your team, you did a job well-done!! sharlto copley, you are excellent !!. this is what i call a movie!!! thank you!

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  22. Tony - Paco says:

    I finally watched this yesterday… WOW! I am impressed! Acting was good, directing was good. Very nicely done. I hope we see a sequel.. Sharlto deserves an award! gripping stuff man! or as you would say it “nee blardy hell!” LOL..

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