Peter Jackson rolled into Comic Con for the first time in support of District 9, a film he is producing for director Neill Blomkamp, whom he found while searching for a helmer for the now defunct Halo project. As it turns out, the bond they formed during the months preparing for the ultimately abandoned video game adaptation resulted in a brand new project called District 9.
Here at Comic Con I missed the screening of the film the night before, but footage was shown during the panel which was vastly superior to the trailers you have seen (such as the one directly to the right), which looked kind of boring and never impressed me whatsoever. The screening generated plenty of positive buzz and it appears for good reason as there is much more to this story than the previews would lead you to believe… However, I’m not sure I want to spoil much of it for you and I actually wish I hadn’t even seen it as it would be much more fun to see in theaters. However, I’ll give you a spoiler-free taste.
The story previewed in the trailers I have seen is just a small portion of a much, much larger story. The film looks like it may get a bit generic in terms of treading ground we have seen before when dealing with oppressed societies and cultures, but the difference here, of course, is we are talking about an alien race and even if it does get a bit bogged down it looks like Blomkamp makes up for it in terms of gritty hardcore action. There was plenty of blood and I counted at least four humans actually exploding and gore even managed to find its way onto the camera lens.
However, while all of this was great and I am now looking forward to District 9‘s August 14 release, what was more interesting was Peter Jackson talking about the current status of The Hobbit and its sequel as well as the demise of Halo.
I will tell you there were no major Hobbit announcements and Halo is dead — at least for Peter Jackson. But, Jackson did say the script for The Hobbit is about three weeks out and they will then submit it to Warner Bros. and should things work out casting, budget projections and everything else that goes into making a movie will get underway. Basically, he says any casting rumors you have heard to this point are completely false. He also discusses the reason they are making two films.
As for Halo, he takes you through the ups and downs of the four month pre-production and how it ultimately led to Blomkamp directing District 9 based on his 6-minute short “Alive in Joberg” which I included in this post to the right if you haven’t seen it yet.
The video is directly below and there will be an abrupt jump from Hobbit discussion to Halo at the 6:55 mark, so please forgive my amateur video capabilities. Enjoy.