Neil Blomkamp's 'Praetoria' Is A Short Film About A Robot Knight Who Just Wants Some Gold

Neil Blomkamp, the father of Chappie, is back with another visually stunning short film featuring one of Blomkamp's favorite tropes: robots! Titled Praetoria, this is more of a test reel than a full short film, but it gives you another glimpse of what Blomkamp has been up to lately. Watch the new Neil Blomkamp short film below.

Neil Blomkamp burst onto the scene with his very entertaining, Oscar-nominated science fiction film District 9. Yet ever since District 9's release, the filmmaker has been struggling a bit to recapture his initial glory. His follow-up film, Elysium, was a bit of a mess, even though it did feature Jodie Foster hamming it up as the villain. Then came Chappie, which was good-intentioned but also very disappointing. For a while, Blompkamp was developing a possible Alien sequel which would bring back Sigourney Weaver's Ripley, but Ridley Scott pretty much put the final nail in that coffin (for now).

Since then, Blomkamp has been working on a series of visually stunning short films. There was Adam: The Mirror, rendered in real time entirely in the Unity game engine. And there was also Zygote, starring Dakota Fanning. Now Blomkamp has released Praetoria, featuring a kind of half-man/half-robot wielding a huge sword. Check it out.


Alright, admittedly, there's not a whole lot here. We have a conflicted robot (?) who keeps hearing a voice telling him again and again that he'll never be forgiven. He also has a very big sword, which makes him a kind of robot knight. Then he removes his helmet to reveal he's at least partially human underneath. Sort of like Robo-Cop. This is followed by some random dude stopping in to tell Robo-Knight that they've found more gold (??). Look, don't try to make sense of this, just go with it.

Praetoria is actually part of a "huge galactic story", and this video is described as something "testing the water." In other words, this is basically test footage for a much longer film. The story involves a character named General Krisch, who is on a quest across the galaxy for gold. I went to high school with someone with the last name Krisch – I wonder if this film about a robot knight looking for gold is about him? Probably not, that would be a really weird coincidence.

All of Blomkamp's latest short films have been released by his Oats Studios. The films released by Oats are meant to drum up fan interest, and if the interest is high enough, they'll later be expanded into feature films. What say you – are you interested in a feature film about General Krisch, the gold-loving robot with the sword? If so, drop Neil Blomkamp a line and tell him.