With the $30 million opening weekend for 'Elysium,' it looks like audiences are still very much on board the Neill Blomkamp train. It's surely no coincidence that Sony waited until this moment to announce that they've signed on to the director's next film, a science fiction story called 'Chappie.'

The news comes via Deadline, who also supply this description of the plot:

Chappie tells the story of a robot imbued with artificial intelligence who is stolen by two local gangsters who want to use him for their own nefarious purposes.

In other words, it sounds very much in line with the kind of movies Blomkamp has made so far. If it's anything like 'District 9' and 'Elysium,' it'll blend (or attempt to blend) crazy science fiction with bloody action and stinging political satire. We just hope it'll be more like his first effort than his second.

'District 9' star and 'Elysium' co-star Sharlto Copley will voice the title robot, making this the first robot in cinematic history to speak with a South African accent (at least we think so). Ninja and Yolandi Visser, members of the musical group Die Antwoord, will play the gangsters. Copley's starring role and the involvement of niche musicians in key roles immediately suggest that this will be a smaller and more specific film than the bloated 'Elysium.' In other words, we're cautiously optimistic about it being a return to form after a sophomore slump.

Filming on 'Chappie' is set to begin this fall.

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