Neill Blomkamp Opens Up About The Failure of CHAPPIE and Why It Was Painful For Him
I think I was one of the few people that actually liked Neill Blomkamp's film Chappie. It was such a wildly weird and different kind of film. It featured extremely unique characters and was set in a very different kind of world. I can appreciate what Blomkamp was trying to do with the film, but for the most part, it crashed and burned with audiences and critics.
Turns out, Chappie was a very personal film for Blomkamp and the vision he had in his head for it was exactly what we ended up seeing on screen. Because this was such a personal film for him, it's failure was extremely hard on him. He opened up about all this during a candid interview with Den of Geek and this is what he had to say:
"Chappie was unbelievably painful for me. That was difficult on several levels. But the thing with Chappie was, it felt like it was extremely close to the film I had in my head. Up until the film came out, I felt like I had given my all, and that I’d tried my hardest to make the film I had in my head, and I felt like I achieved that. […] But I’m still upset the fact that it didn’t work. I wish that it did, but it just didn’t, and I still love it. I don’t know what else to say, but the audience didn’t get what I was going for. It didn’t work."
It's not easy to go out there and put your heart and soul into a film only to have it smashed to pieces by critics. The guy's still not over it! He goes on to say:
“We could go on for hours about Chappie and where it sits. But it definitely hurt several parts of my career, I think. Those are all secondary to just the repositioning myself as an artist and just thinking about that. I mean, Elysium, I didn’t feel that way. I feel like Elysium wasn’t actually that good. That’s the difference. I feel like I got it right with Chappie, and then when the audience turns on you, that puts you in a different place.”
It was just a story that audiences had a hard time connecting with. As you know, Blomkamp was developing that Alien 5 film for awhile after Chappie, but it was eventually shut down. Now he's working on an incredibly cool looking short film series project called Oats Studios: Volume 1. You can check out the trailers for that here and here.
Blomkamp hasn't really had a big hit since his first film District 9, so I hope this Oats Studios thing works out for him.