Sony Pictures Entertainment and MRC have begun production in Johannesburg, South Africa on 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. Chappie is co-produced and co-financed by Sony Pictures and MRC; the film will be marketed and distributed worldwide by Sony Pictures.
Blomkamp will direct Chappie from a screenplay he has written with Terri Tatchell. He will also produce the film with Simon Kinberg. Blomkamp's latest film with MRC and Sony Pictures, Elysium, starring Matt Damon and Jodie Foster, which Blomkamp wrote and directed and also produced with Bill Block and Simon Kinberg, has grossed an estimated $283 million worldwide to date.
After being kidnapped by two criminals during birth, Chappie becomes the adopted son in a strange and dysfunctional family. Chappie is preternaturally gifted, one of a kind, a prodigy. He also happens to be a robot. The film will star Sharlto Copley as the voice of Chappie, Hugh Jackman, Dev Patel, Sigourney Weaver, Ninja, Yolandi Visser, Jose Pablo Cantillo and Brandon Auret.
Hannah Minghella and Rachel O'Connor will oversee Chappie for Sony; Brye Adler will oversee for Media Rights Capital.