Neill Blomkamp Eyeing Dev Patel for Human Lead in Chappie

South African filmmaker Neill Blomkamp’s next movie Elysium hasn’t been released yet, but he’s already preparing for its follow-up Chappie, which is an extension of his 2004 short film “Tetra Vaal.” The Hollywood Reporter’s Heat Vision Blog is on a bit of a roll today with their news that Slumdog Millionaire star Dev Patel is in talks to join the cast, which as they note, would return to the slums of that Oscar Best Picture-winning film.

The original short is a fake advertisement for a robotic police force patrolling the South African slums and Blomkamp’s frequent collaborator Sharlto Copley will play one of those police robots with Patel vying to play the human lead, a young man living in those slums.

Patel was first seen as one of the stars of BBC’s popular but controversial “Skins” before he was discovered by Danny Boyle for his Oscar-winning Best Picture Slumdog Millionaire. His roles since then have been few and far between, most notably M. Night Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender and the breakout hit The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Most recently, Patel could be seen as part of the ensemble cast of HBO’s “The Newsroom” which returns for its second season on July 14.

Blomkamp wrote the script for the movie along with his Oscar-nominated District 9 co-writer Terri Tatchell and Simon Kinberg and MRC are both back on board producing and financing, following their previous work together on Elysium.

To get a taste for the project, you can watch Blomkamp’s original short “Tetra Vaal” below:

(Photo source: Visual / WENN.com)

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