Neill Blomkamp appears to be suffering from what we’ll call “Shyamalan Shingles.” Both Blomkamp and M. Night Shyamalan had incendiary directorial debuts that, despite being ostensibly genre films, managed to reinvent their respective genres in exciting ways, Shyamalan with horror and Blomkamp with science fiction. Since then, both directors have continued to make films with less and less success. Blomkamp’s Elysium was generally well-received—though not in comparison to District 9—but his most recent film, Chappie, was a disaster. And after reports that Blomkamp’s Alien sequel was going to be scrapped, many wondered whether the once-visionary director could salvage his career.
That brings us to today, and Blomkamp’s return to filmmaking with a highly unusual project. His new production company—Oats Studio—has released their first trailer for what will apparently be a series of experimental films. The trailer is loaded with tense atmosphere, freaky lizard aliens and, surprisingly, Dakota Fanning with a massive assault rifle. The plan appears to be to sell several of these short films online through Steam. It’s unclear how many films there will be or when they will launch.
The trailer itself touts itself as “Volume 1,” but on the company’s Instagram page, there’s a 15-second clip for a film titled Rakka.
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Both trailers appear to capitalize on Blomkamp’s extensive work as an animator,and look to once again cover familiar sci-fi ground. The voiceover in the trailer hauntingly explains, “We were once mankind, we were humanity, they came here to exterminate us … a new world altered everyone. Adapt or die. It was a simple as that.” From the various clips we can see what appear to be Vietnam-era zombies, lizard-alien overlords and several intense speed-ramped explosions. If we were forced to guess, we’d say there were three distinct films in there just based on the way the trailer is composed. Also if forced to guess, we’d say this new project looks awesome and a return to form for a director who really got way too into goofy robots there for awhile.
Check out the intense trailer above.