Neill Blomkamp’s approach for District 10 is already avoiding mistakes he made with his post-District 9 movies. The possibility of making a sequel to the 2009 original sci-fi movie has been floated around for years. District 9 was a surprise hit for Blomkamp’s feature directorial debut, as it earned rave reviews, was recognized by the Academy Awards, and made more than $200 million worldwide.
Work on District 10 has continued more than a decade after the first film has been released, and details on what Blomkamp is planning have slowly come to light during that time. He intends to use the movie to focus on a different point in American history, likely to include other forms of social commentary that District 9 didn’t touch on. This is expected to include Wilkus (Sharlto Copley) and Christopher (Jason Cope) and the continuation of their story. As much excitement as there was for District 10 immediately after the first film’s release, some might be wary of returning to the world after Blomkamp’s post-District 9 work. But, it seems the director is already aiming to fix one of his potential mistakes.
Blomkamp’s approach for District 10 is making it as stripped-down and bare-bones as possible. He believes this is the better fit for him as a director and is currently working to keep the script in that state. This shows a rather conscious understanding on Blomkamp’s part of what went wrong with some of his post-District 9 movies. While both Elysium and Chappie have their defenders, neither of them was as well-received as District 9. One of the issues with both movies is the budgets, scale, and ideas growing too big. Now that Blomkamp is angling to return District 10 to a much smaller scale and budget, this could be key to his directorial efforts returning to the levels of his debut.
District 9 Movie Alien Spaceship
While Blomkamp is best known for Elysium and Chappie after District 9, the big-budget genre fare features aren’t all he’s been up to. He’s spent his time after Chappie making a series of sci-fi/horror short films on small budgets. These marked the beginning of Blomkamp’s return to the bare-bones approach he used for District 9. After finding some success again with these experimental shorts, it isn’t too surprising that the writer/director aims to replicate that success by using the same approach for District 10.
Blomkamp’s stripped-down mindset isn’t only a way to hopefully prevent District 10 from falling into similar pitfalls as Elysium and Chappie. This also represents him having a strong grasp on what is the right fit for the District 9 follow-up. The first film had a moderately sized $30 million budget, but that was much smaller in comparison to his other films. It would be tempting and easy to go bigger with District 10, as that is essentially the formula Hollywood follows when it comes to sequels. Blomkamp’s interest in keeping his District 9 sequel on the same level as the first film is a much better idea, as District 10 doesn’t need a massive budget and huge action set pieces to deliver something of the same caliber.