Scribes sought out originality in sci-fi tale
Like most tyro screenwriters, Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell (“District 9”) took the writing of their first big film seriously. Maybe too seriously.
“Then Neill wrote on the wall in big letters, SATIRE,” says Tatchell, laughing.
“He kept saying, ‘It’s my first film, I don’t want to be thinking I can make “Schindler’s List” on a first film — so let’s have fun and explode some pigs!’ ”
The writers had a lot of material to work from, as the feature film was adapted from Blomkamp’s short film “Alive in Joburg.” They weren’t influenced much by other films, says Tatchell, adding that Blomkamp prefers to watch documentaries.
Moreover, they were trying to be different, to treat the pic’s aliens in an unusual way.
“The natural choice would be to make them (aliens) look sympathetic, and Neill insisted on making them look repulsive and almost wanted the audience to understand why the choice could be made to segregate them — and then have the audience realize the aliens are like us, they have children they want to save, which is different than treatment of aliens in other films,” says Tatchell.
And “District 10”?
“I would love it if there was a ‘District 10,’ (but) it’s up to Neill and Peter (Jackson),” she says. “I know Neill would like to.”