We reported in August it looked like Dev Patel, star of Slumdog Millionaire, would play the lead role in sci-fi director Neill Bloomkamp’s next picture, entitled Chappie. Along with Blomkamp veteran Sharlto Copely (Krueger in this summer’s Elysium), Hugh Jackman will appear in the film, a rumor confirmed by the actor while at the Zurich Film Festival.
Via ScreenDaily: “I am doing a role in Neill’s new film, called Chappie,” said Jackman, “which we shoot in Johannesburg. I’m there for a couple of weeks at the beginning of next year.” Jackman’s comments strongly suggest that his role will be as a supporting character, certainly no larger than Jodie Foster’s part (and in all likelihood something far more limited).
Jackman is currently promoting Prisoners which opened last weekend and is gearing up for what’s sure to be an extended publicity tour for X-Men: Days of Future Past in May. Chappie would seem to slot nicely into Jackman’s schedule, as other projects to which he’s attached (including a biopic of circus great P.T. Barnum and a Lee Daniels project) don’t appear to be ready to go by the first third of 2014.
Chappie will be Neil Blomkamp’s third feature film, and an important one at that. While Elysium sold well, critical reaction was far from overwhelmingly positive, and Chappie represents a chance for the sci-fi wunderkind to prove he’s capable of handling the larger studio budgets early success has given him access to.