District 10 is happening says director Neill Blomkamp. Released in 2009, Blomkamp’s District 9 offered an unusually dark and gritty found-footage take on the ever-popular alien encounter genre. Set in the not-too-distant future, the film imagines a society where aliens have arrived on Earth but are forced by humans to live in vast slums. The plot follows one alien’s efforts to escape Earth with the help of a sympathetic bureaucrat named Wikus (Sharlto Copley) and some long-dormant extra-terrestrial technology.
Made on a budget of just $30 million, District 9 went on to be a huge hit with $210 million at the box office. Given that kind of performance, it’s indeed no surprise that talk of a sequel began almost immediately. The original movie in fact neatly sets up a sequel, as its main alien character reaches his people’s mothership and escapes Earth, setting up the possibility that he could later return to free his comrades. Over the years Blomkamp himself has fueled speculation with talk of wanting to do a District 9 prequel or sequel, though no firm plans have ever come to light.
Though it’s now been over ten years since District 9 was released, there is apparently still a chance a sequel could happen. In a post on Twitter, Blomkamp fueled fans’ dimming hopes with the revelation that he is working on a script for District 10 along with District 9 co-writer Terri Tatchell and star Copley. “It’s coming,” Blomkamp says of the long-awaited follow-up.
Though Blomkamp sounds certain that District 10 is happening, fans of the director may have cause to be skeptical. Over the years since District 9 made his name as a filmmaker, Blomkamp has in fact become involved in an array of projects that for one reason or another never came to fruition. The most well-known of these unmade films is of course his Alien 5, which would have been a direct sequel to James Cameron’s Aliens. Unfortunately, Blomkamp’s vision for Alien never saw the light of day beyond concept art, as Ridley Scott took back the franchise’s reins. After his Alien fell through, the director became attached to a Robocop reboot that would have ignored the 2014 remake, but ultimately left the project. Even before becoming famous for District 9, Blomkamp began development on a Halo movie with Alex Garland as screenwriter, but that project also came to nothing.
Indeed Blomkamp’s filmography would be much more impressive had even one of his abandoned projects made it to the screen. After District 9 proved to be a surprise hit, Blomkamp followed up with the disappointing big-budget film Elysium, then returned to his mid-budget roots with Chappie, a movie that is divisive, to say the least. Since 2015, Blomkamp has produced a lot of intriguing short films and only one feature he secretly filmed in Canada during the pandemic.
It’s yet to be seen if District 10 actually makes it to the screen, or ends up on that cool but frustrating list of unmade Blomkamp movies. The original film certainly sets up a lot of sequel possibilities with its cliffhanger ending (Blomkamp himself has indicated a sequel would finish the main characters' stories). Or District 10 could go the prequel route and depict the arrival of the aliens on Earth (which in the original movie happens in the early ‘80s). Whatever the sequel movie’s story may be, it’s good to hear Blomkamp and his co-writers are still plugging away, and maybe this time something will actually happen.
Stay up to date on all movie news by following us @RegalMovies.