‘District 9’ on the way

Posted by · 10:04 am · August 6th, 2009

Sharlto Copley on the cover of Entertainment WeeklyNeill Blomkamp’s “District 9” is primed to explode on the cinema landscape next week.  At least I hope it is.  I’m never good at reading the populist pulse, especially as it pertains to predicting box office and things like that, but on a $30 million budget, and being an exceptional piece of work that should become a word-of-mouth success on home video if not theatrically, I can’t imagine the film won’t pull a profit.

Entertainment Weekly’s cover story this month features actor Sharlto Copley, praised on high in this space during last month’s San Diego Comic-Con International, with the fetching headline: “Why ‘District 9’ will blow you away.”  That’s a good start.  I know plenty of people who ask me daily, “What’s the deal with ‘District 9?'”  Breeding intense curiosity is always a win.

Scott Bowles sat down with the film’s producer, Peter Jackson (who made his first ever trip to Comic-Con to promote the film), in San Diego and got some great stuff, particularly Jackson’s revelation that working on the film reminded him of his guerrilla filmmaking roots.

Here’s what he had to say on that front:

To be honest, it made me realize how much I miss guerrilla filmmaking…I miss the chances I used to be able to take…We were taking such chances back then…You weren’t worrying about a $150 million budget that everyone wants to get their hands on. Or appealing to a usually white demographic to make the most money possible. This is what I’ve always loved doing: making movies for the geeks.

“District 9” hits US cinemas next Friday, August 14.  Stay tuned next week for a one-on-one interview with Sharlto Copely, a focused, grounded guy with a hell of a future.

→ 8 Comments Tags: , , , | Filed in: Daily

8 responses so far

  • 1 8-06-2009 at 10:14 am

    AmericanRequiem said...

    Peter Jacson has an epic showdown coming with scorsesse, eastwood, and cameron this year. This is an epic year for directors and I love this guy

  • 2 8-06-2009 at 10:55 am

    Mr. Gittes said...

    All the t.v. spots and trailers for District 9 give me the impression that this movie sucks. The alien creatures things look absurd. Howeverrrrrr, it’s getting damn good reviews. Go figure. And I’ll go see it, I guess.

  • 3 8-06-2009 at 11:06 am

    Loyal said...

    I saw District 9 last night. Great movie, not at all what I expected, and I’m not sure how the South African juju witchcraft bits are going to play with the masses.

    There’s so much going on in the film, Black Hawk Down, The Fly, Outer Limits and its obviously obvious apartheid allegory.

    The splatter doesnt splat until nearly the end of the film which could be an issue for those wanting the typical alien frightfest.

    But if District 9 were a stage production, the first 5 rows would need ponchos. It gets sticky.

  • 4 8-06-2009 at 11:45 am

    red_wine said...

    30 million is such a great budget. So easy to break even and make a profit. This year some releases have been marred by bloated budgets. 93 million would be considered good for a period drama but with Public Enemies, the movie even failed to break even with a 100 million dollar budget and millions spent on marketing. And Funny People I think has a totally unacceptable budget at 75 million for a talky comedy/drama.

  • 5 8-06-2009 at 11:53 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    I think bloated budgets are drastically out of control and I hope a film like District 9 can make an impact on the system as it exists now.

  • 6 8-06-2009 at 12:28 pm

    Brian said...

    I wonder if D9 will go into profit opening weekend.

  • 7 8-06-2009 at 1:38 pm

    Brian said...

    I want to also know how exactly it was only $30m. I imagine Jackson didn’t get his “quote”, whatever that would be, and none of the actors were in a guild (but I imagine Copely was still paid decently well). And Blomkamp’s first film/script.

    But still. 30m for a movie with not just a lot of CGI, but a lot of GREAT CGI. $30m just boggles my mind. You could make, what, 6 District 9’s for 1 GI Joe?

  • 8 8-06-2009 at 6:09 pm

    BDM said...

    Just came back from a screening of D9. It’s really good. Better than I expected and I was expecting it to be good. Neill Blomkamp is defiantly a director I will be watching over the next few years. I hope he can manage to do the Halo project he’s been trying to get going.