There are a whole bunch of reasons why I'm excited about upcoming flick Chappie, and most of them have to do with Neill Blomkamp.
Quite simply there is no other director working today with a better handle on the integration of photo-realistic digital effects. It was honestly impossible to tell at times in his last film Elysium exactly which elements were practical and what was created in a computer, all made even more convincing by his gritty sense of realism, even in the most science-fiction led stories. He's also a great interviewee, especially if you get him talking about games.
Chappie takes that concept to a whole new level, with a central character who is entirely fabricated. The robotic titular character is based heavily on motion capture reference from frequent collaborator Sharlto Copley but also includes photo-real CG, practical effects and everything you can think of inbetween.
You can catch a glimpse of all those different methods of bringing the character to life in this making of video, which talks about the story and more about the themes at the heart of the film.
Oh and there's another reason to be excited about Chappie - Blomkamp knows how to direct the hell out of an action scene and it looks like there's plenty of high octane stuff on offer here. But it's the smaller story which is just as important. Elysium was a consummate piece of directing and an incredible technical achievement but it lacked a heartfelt central narrative. Chappie looks to be a far more emotional and personal film, and it just so happens to be about a subject which is going to become increasingly important in our not-so-distant future.
We can't wait for Chappie!
Chappie is in cinemas from the 6th of March 2015.