By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT AND MRC TO PARTNER ON “CHAPPIE,” THE NEXT FILM FROM NEILL BLOMKAMP

 Director of “District 9” and “Elysium” to Begin Production This Fall

CULVER CITY, Calif., August 13, 2013 – Sony Pictures Entertainment and MRC have agreed to co-produce and co-finance Chappie, the next film from writer-director Neill Blomkamp, it was announced today by Doug Belgrad, president of Columbia Pictures and Hannah Minghella, president of Production for the studio, and MRC.  The film will be marketed and distributed worldwide by Sony Pictures.

Blomkamp will direct the film from a screenplay he has written with Terri Tatchell.  He will also produce the film with Simon Kinberg.  Production is expected to begin this fall.

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.  The film will star Sharlto Copley as the voice of Chappie, with Ninja and Yolandi Visser, voices of the South African Zef counter-culture movement and members of rap-rave duo Die Antwoord, as the two gangsters.

Commenting on the announcement, Belgrad said, “We’re huge fans of Neill Blomkamp – it’s a real thrill to be continuing our relationship with such a visionary and important filmmaker.  Neill has proven that he is a true original voice and we expect that Chappie will strike a chord with worldwide audiences in the same way that District 9 and Elysium have.  We love the script he and Terri have written and we’re looking forward to working again with our friends at MRC.”

“Neill is an incredibly talented and bold artist and we are proud to continue to support his work.  We are looking forward to partnering with the team at Sony on Chappie,” said Modi Wiczyk, co-CEO of MRC.

The announcement comes as Sony Pictures and MRC released Elysium, Blomkamp’s second feature, starring Matt Damon and Jodie Foster, which Blomkamp wrote and directed and also produced with Bill Block and Simon Kinberg.  Elysium opened at #1 in the U.S. this weekend, and was also #1 in Russia, Sweden, Taiwan and Ukraine. Sony Pictures also released Blomkamp’s first feature film, District 9, which took in over $200 million worldwide and earned four Oscar® nominations, including Best Picture.

Hannah Minghella and Rachel O’Connor will oversee Chappie for Sony Pictures; Brye Adler will oversee for Media Rights Capital.

About Media Rights Capital:

MRC is a leading independent film and television studio, specializing in the creation of premium entertainment content in partnership with the industry’s foremost creative talent and distributors.  In film, MRC has financed and produced 16 films distributed by Universal, Sony and Warner Bros., as well as leading international distributors. Ted is currently the #1 highest grossing R-rated original comedy of all time worldwide.  In television, MRC’s projects have been licensed to a number of broadcast and cable networks including ABC, HBO, Netflix, Lifetime, Comedy Central and CBS.  MRC’s latest series, “House of Cards,” was nominated for 9 primetime Emmy® awards, including Outstanding Drama Series. For more information, visit www.mrcstudios.com

 

About Sony Pictures:

Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Entertainment Inc., a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE’s global operations encompass motion picture production, acquisition and distribution; television production, acquisition and distribution; television networks; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; and development of new entertainment products, services and technologies. For additional information, go to http://www.sonypictures.com.

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Julian Schnabel: Years ago, I was down there with my cousin’s wife Corky. She was wild — she wore makeup on her legs, and she had a streak in her hair like Yvonne De Carlo in “The Munsters.” She liked to paint. I had overalls on with just a T-shirt and looked like whatever. We were trying to buy a bunch of supplies with my cousin Jesse’s credit card. They looked at the credit card, and then they looked at us and thought maybe we stole the card, so they called Jesse up. He was a doctor who became the head of trauma at St. Vincent’s. They said, “There’s somebody here with this credit card and we want to know if it belongs to you.”

He said, “Well, does the woman have dyed blonde hair and fake eyelashes and look like she stepped out of the backstage of some kind of silent movie, and is she with some guy who has wild hair and is kind of dressed like a bum?”

“Yeah, that’s them.”

“Yeah, that’s my cousin and my wife. It’s okay, they can charge it on my card.”
~ Julian Schnabel Remembers NYC’s Now-Shuttered Pearl Paint

MB Cool. I was really interested in the aerial photography from Enter the Void and how one could understand that conceptually as a POV, while in fact it’s more of an objective view of the city where the story takes place. So it’s an objective and subjective camera at the same time. I know that you’re interested in Kubrick. We’ve talked about that in the past because it’s something that you and I have in common—

GN You’re obsessed with Kubrick, too.

MB Does he still occupy your mind or was he more of an early influence?

GN He was more of an early influence. Kubrick has been my idol my whole life, my own “god.” I was six or seven years old when I saw 2001: A Space Odyssey, and I never felt such cinematic ecstasy. Maybe that’s what brought me to direct movies, to try to compete with that “wizard of Oz” behind the film. So then, years later, I tried to do something in that direction, like many other directors tried to do their own, you know, homage or remake or parody or whatever of 2001. I don’t know if you ever had that movie in mind for your own projects. But in my case, I don’t think about 2001 anymore now. That film was my first “trip” ever. And then I tried my best to reproduce on screen what some drug trips are like. But it’s very hard. For sure, moving images are a better medium than words, but it’s still very far from the real experience. I read that Kubrick said about Lynch’s Eraserhead, that he wished he had made that movie because it was the film he had seen that came closest to the language of nightmares.

Matthew Barney and Gaspar Noé