Will There Be A Sequel To District 9? Here's What We Know

South African-Canadian filmmaker Neill Blomkamp caught the world off-guard with his feature directorial debut: 2009's "District 9," a movie that expanded the premise for his 2006 sci-fi short "Alive in Joburg" into a Paul Verhoeven-style blend of action, satire, and splatter gore. It wasn't everybody's cup of tea (neither is Verhoeven's work), but the film was a critical and box office hit that landed multiple Oscar nods, including one for Best Picture, and firmly secured Blomkamp's status as someone to keep on your radar.

Much like M. Night Shyamalan after the breakout success of "The Sixth Sense," however, Blomkamp spent his newly gained clout from "District 9" getting more original and, frankly, weirder films (namely, "Elysium" and "Chappie") off the ground, as opposed to making a sequel or boarding a franchise. And when those movies proved far more polarizing than his debut, Blomkamp turned his attention to crafting experimental shorts (via his company, Oats Studios) while coming precariously close to helming a legacy sequel to Verhoeven's "RoboCop," as well as a new "Alien" film.

Once again, though, Blomkamp declined to become a studio workhorse in favor of making "Demonic," a demonic possession thriller with a sci-fi twist that got roundly trashed by critics. So what now? Well, it looks like a "District 9" sequel may actually happen.

What's Going On With District 10

Backing up a bit: it's worth noting that Blomkamp announced he and "District 9" co-writer Terri Tatchell (to whom he's married) had begun penning the sequel, "District 10," with his longtime collaborator and "District 9" star Sharlto Copley in February 2021, well before "Demonic" debuted. So this isn't, per se, a case of a director releasing a badly-received movie and, suddenly, their schedule magically opens up and they start working on the sequel that people have been bugging them about for ages. "District 10" is also something that Blomkamp has expressed an interest in doing for years, with the caveat that he needed to come up with a story that excited him first.

If anything, it's good that Blomkamp has spent the last decade experimenting and evolving his sense of craft and not risk losing his way in the studio system. The results have been wildly inconsistent in terms of their quality (some would say they've all been bad, and not unreasonably) and, in the case of "Chappie," may have even cost him his dream job of directing an "Alien" film. Still, the fact we're even talking about Blomkamp at all shows he's more or less fashioned an identity as the guy who specializes in peculiar, off-putting, high concept sci-fi fare (odd as that sounds).

And who knows: just like Shyamalan rebounded the first time he made a sequel (okay, "sequel"), perhaps "District 10" will mark Blomkamp's own return to form.

What District 10 Could Be About

Right off the bat, "District 10" has some major plot threads it can pick up. "District 9" ended with the formerly human Multinational United (MNU) employee Wikus van de Merwe (Copley) completing his transformation into one of the aliens commonly referred to by the derogatory term "Prawn," having aided the alien Christopher Johnson (Jason Cope) in fleeing the titular South African prison camp where he and the other extraterrestrials had resided since their arrival on Earth. With the MNU's experiments on District 9's residents exposed, "District 10" will presumably explore what life is like in the aliens' new home (see the title), as well as what became of Wikus and whether Christopher will ever return for the others and/or to restore Wikus to his human form.

Blomkamp has confirmed that "District 10" will be as "stripped-down and bare bones" as possible, which is not only consistent with the approach he took on "District 9" but shows he's being practical and not expecting someone to grant him a huge budget after years of churning out not-so-successful films. He's also confirmed the sequel will evolve its predecessor's social and political subtext by pulling from "a topic in American history" that, one assumes, deals with issues of discrimination and segregation similar to those touched upon in "District 9." 

Basically, it seems like Blomkamp is serious about seeing "District 10" through this time; now he just needs a studio backer, and he's off to the races.