Trailer: ‘Chappie’ brings Neill Blomkamp’s childlike robot to life

Nov. 04, 2014 | 12:56 p.m.

The first trailer is out for “Chappie,” the next science-fiction undertaking by South African filmmaker Neill Blomkamp.

“Chappie,” due in theaters March 6, 2015, is Blomkamp’s third feature film, following the Oscar-nominated “District 9” in 2009 and last year’s “Elysium.”

The film is a sort of coming-of-age story about an artificially intelligent robot who is kidnapped by two gangsters. Played by Blomkamp’s longtime collaborator Sharlto Copley through performance-capture technology, Chappie is a childlike character who is still learning about the world and his potential place in it.

'Chappie'“I brought you into this world. A machine that can think and feel,” says Chappie’s creator Deon, a scientist played by Dev Patel (“Slumdog Millionaire”), in the trailer. “Anything you want to do in your life, you can do. Write poetry, have original ideas.”

Chappie paints, explores and learns from television, watching He-Man in “Masters of the Universe,” as well as from those around him, including criminals played by Yolandi Visser and Ninja of the South African rap group Die Antwoord.

“You know what’s a black sheep?” Visser’s character asks Chappie in the trailer while, it seems, tucking him in for bed. “It’s like when you’re different to everyone else.”

Different, indeed, and a target for those afraid of what a bullet-proof experiment might be capable of, including Hugh Jackman’s Vincent, who aims to destroy the robot.

“The problem with artificial intelligence is it’s way too unpredictable,” Jackman’s character says in the trailer.

The film also stars Sigourney Weaver and Jose Pablo Cantillo.

Here’s the official synopsis from Sony.

Every child comes into the world full of promise, and none more so than Chappie: he is gifted, special, a prodigy. Like any child, Chappie will come under the influence of his surroundings – some good, some bad – and he will rely on his heart and soul to find his way in the world and become his own man. But there’s one thing that makes Chappie different from anyone else: he is a robot. The first robot with the ability to think and feel for himself. His life, his story, will change the way the world looks at robots and humans forever.

“Chappie” is based on Blomkamp’s 2003 short film “Tetra Vaal,” a mock advertisement for robotic police.

– Noelene Clark | @NoeleneClark | Google+

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