When Neill Blomkamp first released District 9 in 2009, he was seen as quite the rising director. Under a restrictive budget, he had managed to put together a visually amazing science fiction tale with a strong emphasis on character. Unfortunately, Blomkamp’s next film, Elysium, did not fare so well. While still at a solid 68 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, the film was considered a letdown after the expectations Blomkamp had laid down for himself with District 9. While the jury’s still out on his latest film, Chappie, Blomkamp is already reaching for the stars with the Alien franchise, which has Sigourney Weaver attached to star.
While hope seems to be a high point regarding his involvement in the project, there may be some who are nervous about Neill Blomkamp taking on such a beloved property after the letdown of Elysium. Blomkamp is no stranger to the weaknesses of that film. In fact, in a recent interview with Uproxx, he went into detail on the reasons why the film didn’t live up to expectations.
“… Any frustration I feel with Elysium is with myself… I feel like, ultimately, the story is not the right story. I still think the satirical idea of a ring, filled with rich people, hovering above the impoverished Earth, is an awesome idea. I love it so much, I almost want to go back and do it correctly. But I just think the script wasn’t … I just didn’t make a good enough film is ultimately what it is. I feel like I executed all of the stuff that could be executed, like costume and set design and special effects very well. But, ultimately, it was all resting on a somewhat not totally formed skeletal system, so the script just wasn’t there; the story wasn’t fully there.
At the very least, Neill Blomkamp is reflective and self-aware enough to acknowledge when he’s made a mistake. The ultimate question for Alien fans will be if he will be able to learn from his mistakes to ensure his next film is as good a film as it could be. Since he felt the technical aspects of Elysium were executed well enough, it’ll have to be the script that is paid careful attention to. Considering that Elysium was the only film Blomkamp wrote by himself, and that he re-teamed up with his District 9 co-writer for Chappie, we may be safe for the new Alien flick.
What were your thoughts on Elysium? Do you think the story needed a lot of work, or was it great the way it was? Let us know below!
[Images Credit: Tristar Pictures and Columbia Pictures]