Elysium Neill Blomkamp

Production on the sci-fi pic, starring Sharlto Copley, to begin this fall

Sony and MRC have agreed to co-produce and co-finance “Elysium” director Neill Blomkamp’s next film, “Chappie.”

The duo made the announcement on Tuesday.

Starring Blomkamp regular Sharlto Copley (“District 9,” “Elysium”), “Chappie” tells the story of a robot imbued with artificial intelligence who is stolen by two local gangsters who want to use him for their own nefarious purposes.

“Slumdog Millionaire” star Dev Patel is still in talks to join the project, a source confirmed to Variety.

Blomkamp will direct “Chappie” from a script he co-wrote with Terri Tatchell. Production is set to begin this fall.

“We’re huge fans of Neill Blomkamp – it’s a real thrill to be continuing our relationship with such a visionary and important filmmaker,” Columbia Pictures prexy Doug Belgrad said in a statement.

Sony will distribute and market the sci-fi pic worldwide.

“Elysium,” Blomkamp’s latest thriller starring Matt Damon, is off to a modest start in the U.S. but his previous Sony-MRC collaboration, “District 9,” took in over $200 million at the global box office.

Blomkamp will produce “Chappie” with Simon Kinberg.

Pic also stars Ninja and Yolandi Visser of rap-rave duo Die Antwoord.

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