As previously reported, writer/director Neill Blomkamp will follow the Matt Damon-starring Elysium by heading back to his indie roots with his next release, Chappie. Like District 9, Chappie is based on a previous Blomkamp work—the 2004 (extremely) short Tetra Vaal, a fictional ad for a robotic police force that oversees the slums of his native South Africa—and will feature both District 9’s mock-documentary style and its star Sharlto Copley. Unlike District 9, according to The Hollywood Reporter, it may also star Slumdog Millionnaire’s Dev Patel, currently of The Newsroom, who’s rumored to be in discussions to play the (only?) human lead, a resident from one of the impoverished neighborhoods that Copley’s funny robot-cop patrols.
That’s all the details so far, though given that Blomkamp has described the film as “lighthearted” and more of “a science-fiction comedy thing,” perhaps Copley and Patel partner up and have wacky adventures. Other clues: The word “chappie” is South African slang for “young man,” so maybe Copley’s robot yearns for human feelings, as movie robots often do? Of course, it’s also slang for “bubble gum,” so we’ll probably have to wait until the film’s 2014 release to find out for sure.