Hugh Jackman Set To Star In Director Neill Blomkamp's Next Film; Chappie

If you ask any sci-fi film enthusiast to compose a list of the best up and coming directors of the genre, South African director Neill Blomkamp is sure to be in the top five. Blomkamp was able to grab much deserved attention for his film debut District 9, but just this year we saw him move into more big budget blockbuster territory with his film Elysium. As we saw with Elysium, thanks to Blomkamp's expanded budget he was able to hire big name star such as Matt Damon and Jodie Foster, and it seems this will also be the case for his cast of his new film Chappie. Hugh Jackman-who just recently starred in Prisoners-has now revealed that he'll in fact be playing a role in the director's next film, which will surprisingly be that of it's villain.

Screen International reports that Jackman will be starring in Blomkamp's Chappie, which the actor revealed during a press conference at the Zurich Film Festival. The actor had the following to say on his part in the film and when shooting would begin:

“…I am doing a role in Neill’s new film, called Chappie, which we shoot in Johannesburg. I’m there for a couple of weeks at the beginning of next year.”

Jackman's recently come off a major success as the lead in Prisoners, with his performance along with Jake Gyllehaal's being highly praised by critics, and may even garner some award buzz. Following his turn in the Oscar nominated Les Miserables last year, Jackman's really been sticking to his X-Men schedule with just this past summer's The Wolverine and the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past, so it's likely the his role in Chappie won't be a major one due to his likely involvement with yet another X-Men installment, which is rumored to be an X-Force film directed and written by Kick-Ass 2's Jeff Wadlow. 
Judging from Jackman's statement, we can make out that he might not be one of the key players of the film as he says he'll only be shooting there for a few weeks, so we'll have to wait and see just how substantial his character really is in the film. Bleeding Cool brings word that Jackman's role will be that of a CEO who ends up on the wrong side of the films protagonist gangsters. Jackman joins a cast which includes Ninja and Yolandi Visser (As the films titular gangsters) of the South African group Die Antwoord, and Dev Patel (In an unknown role); best known for his roles in Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire and on the HBO series Newsroom.
The film will also be re-teaming Blomkamp with his frequent collaborator Sharlto Copley, who like Blomkamp made his claim to fame thanks to the success of District 9. Copley will be portraying the film's star Chappie, which will be a robot police man that the gangsters are able to hack into and gain control of. Copley will be providing the voice for the character along with actual motion capture work for the part, but it still remains unknown whether his actually likeness will be used for the character's appearance. While Copley recently starred as Kruger in Blomkamp's Elysium, he's since branched out his filmography, landing roles in Spike Lee's Oldboy remake as well as in Disney's upcoming live action Maleficent film. So it's got to see that despite his busy schedule, Copley's still making an effort to continue working with Blomkamp on future projects.
Blomkamp still has a lot to prove as far as his career is concerned, and although District 9 was praised for it's authenticity and creative story line, Elysium didn't fare as well with critics, mainly due to criticisms concerning the film's plot progression throughout it's second half. This time around Blomkamp's hoping to take a more comedic approach with Chappie, and hopefully the director's willingness to take on a different tone then his past films will pay off in the long run. Blomkamp will be sharing script duties with his wife Terri Tatchell, and will reportedly be based off of one of Blomkamp's first short films Tetra Vaal. He's confirmed that the basic design of the robot from Tetra Vaal will be used for Chappie in the film, including the signature bunny ears. You can check out Tetra Vaal below to get a feel of what to expect from Chappie when it hits theaters March 17th, 2015.

So what do you think of Hugh Jackman joining the cast of Chappie? Are you looking forward to seeing it?