Or should we say District 8? Sharlto Copley, who played protagonist Wikus van de Merwe in Neill Blomkamp’s 2009 masterpiece, spoke to Empire today regarding the sequel to District 9.
Copley says that the second District 9 will potentially begin development in 2 years, after Blomkamp’s second feature film:
“Neill wants it and I want it. Neill’s doing another film first. Then I think if everything goes according to plan we’ll do the second film in about two years time. That story can go in so many different ways. There’s a whole universe. I’m sure a lot of writers say that, but we actually have an entire universe.”
I’m glad that the guys have an “entire universe;” it’s exciting to know that District 9 has even more background and plotlines than we saw in the original film. Regarding the story of the sequel, Copley says:
“There’s a million ways you can go. Neil’s actually very interested in prequels as well; he’s said that a few times. We wouldn’t do the traditional Hollywood version of the sequel which would just be 100 aliens fighting humans.”
(Potential spoilers below! But it’s an article about a sequel, so if you were reading this without having seen the first one, then that’s a bit of a silly thing to do)
It’s been heavily suggested as far back as January that the next film will be a prequel, and with Copley’s comments here, it seems very likely that that’s the direction “District 10” will take. I’d love to see everything that happened before the events of District 9; co-writer Terri Tatchell was quoted as saying that a big chunk of the original’s screenplay involving MNU trying to help the prawns inside the mothership was cut, due to budgetary constraints. However – ever since the end of D9, I’ve been waiting for Christopher Johnson to come back to Earth with an epic army and kick some serious ass. Copley outright says that’s not what they’d do, which is a shame… Regardless, I think I’d still rather see what happened after Wikus’s adventures rather than before. Maybe they’ll do a sequel as well, at some point? Who knows…
Interestingly, Copley also says that two shorts were filmed with the Wikus character before D9 was filmed.
“This thing started shooting in 2005, and before we shot the film we shot Alive In Joburg and two other shorts as part of Neil’s creative development process. Those next two films actually had my character, Wikus, in them, although I wasn’t called Wikus in them. So they were two parts of the development of the world and where the story was going to go and all that.”
It really does seem as if these guys have a “bigger picture” planned out, and whatever it is, I want to see more of it.