-- By Christopher Heller
What should we expect?
'District 9' is based on Blomkamp's 2005 'Alive in Joburg', a short film whose plot focuses on the tension between aliens who invade Johannesburg and the South Africans opposed to their presence. Expect 'District 9' to deal with many of the themes explored in 'Alive in Joburg,' mainly, apartheid, segregation, and race relations. For you adrenaline junkies, there'll be plenty of action in the movie as well. The non-humans wear bio-mechanical suits that they use to go blow-for-blow against the baddest weapons mankind has to offer. Human paramilitary forces up against aliens in robotic suits AND legitimate plot development? Yes, please!
Who's in it?
The trailer introduces Hollywood to Sharlto Copley, whose only other acting credit is in 'Alive in Joburg'. He plays Wikus, an MNU agent who becomes sympathetic to the non-human cause after he is accidentally exposed to alien biotechnology. The plot of the film appears to revolve around his role as an intermediary between the aliens and the humans.
Whatever happened to 'Halo'?
Early rumors suggested that the film was actually an adaptation of the popular video game 'Halo' (another project Peter Jackson hopes to produce). However, 'Halo' is unlikely to hit the silver screen anytime soon – if at all – due to budget problems. Fans can hold out hope that Jackson will have good news for the 'Halo' franchise at this year's Comic-Con, where he will be hosting a panel for 'District 9' along with Blomkamp and Copley.
Is 'District 9' the next 'Cloverfield'?
The film shares many similarities with J.J. Abrams' 2008 monster movie. Both have the look and feel of a documentary – to those with motion sickness, be prepared for shaky camerawork and tons of quick cuts. Both rely on little-known actors rather than established stars. 'District 9' also picks up where 'Cloverfield' left off in terms of viral marketing. Websites such as d-9.com and multinationalunited.com have helped to not only introduce the plot of the film, but to also build buzz for its August 14 release.
Watch the trailer for 'District 9' and tell us what you think. Will Peter Jackson score another box-office hit? Do you think it will be better or worse than 'Cloverfield'?