Once upon a time, Peter Jackson was hired by Universal and Fox to oversee Halo, the film version of Microsoft’s killer military/sci-fi videogame. Exhausted from shooting the Lord of the Rings trilogy and King Kong, Jackson opted to executive produce. The man he wanted to direct Halo was Neill Blomkamp, who had nary a feature credit to his name but had shot a stunning short called Alive in Joburg, about aliens living a segregated life in South Africa. Halo eventually fell apart: the stated reason was that the budget had spiraled out of control, but underneath that was the fact that no one wanted to spend ungodly sums of money on a Halo movie that Jackson himself didn’t direct. No one wanted to be in the Neill Blomkamp business. Something tells me that District 9 might change some minds.
A feature-length faux-verite exploration of the themes Blomkamp touched on in Alive in Joburg — segregation, alienation, supression — District also looks like it kicks its fair share of ass. Flamethrowers, mech suits, snatching missiles right out of the air? Hot damn, I’m in.
What about you? And wouldn’t you go see a Halo movie done with the same kind of grit? I know I would.