Chappie followed a naive, artificially intelligent robot (Sharlto Copley) that gets separated from its creator Deon (Dev Patel) and is raised by gangsters to become a violent outlaw.
The sci-fi flick came out in 2015 and was a genre piece that, beneath its off-beat tone and designer violence, attempted to say something quite pertinent and moving about the human experience.
Deon yearns to contribute something more meaningful to the world and to develop a robot that doesn’t just kill but can read books, appreciate art, and think. Hence he defied the orders of Tetra Vaal’s bottom-line-minded CEO, Michelle Bradley (Sigourney Weaver) – aroused the suspicion of a jealous corporate rival Vincent Moore (Hugh Jackman) – when he steals the remains of Scout 22 (a.k.a. Chappie), a droid felled in the line of duty, to test his latest experiment in synthetic consciousness.
The movie was a very personal film for director Niel 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 also very 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.”
Directed by Neill Blomkamp, screenplay by Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell, the movie starred Sharlto Copley, Dev Patel, Ninja, Yo-Landi Visser, Jose Pablo Cantillo, Brandon Auret, Sigourney Weaver and Hugh Jackman.