The Long Wait For Neill Blomkamp's District 10 Will Be Even Longer To 'Time It Right'

Don't hold your breath for "District 10," the sequel to Neill Blomkamp's Oscar-nominated directorial debut, "District 9," unless you're prepared to go without air for another two years or more. "District 9" first hit theaters in mid-August 2009, so it's been over 13 years now since the movie introduced Blomkamp and star Sharlto Copley to the world. Talk of a potential prequel or sequel has been bandied about ever since then, but early last year, things seemingly took a more official turn when news broke that Blomkamp and his writing partner and wife Terri Tatchell were penning the script for "District 10" with Copley.

While promoting his horror film "Demonic" last summer, Blomkamp discussed working with budget in mind while scripting "District 10" and said it would be "as stripped-down and bare bones as we could make it." In a new interview with Radio Times, however, Copley seems to indicate that progress on "District 10" has stalled and the spaceship will continue hovering over us without landing for the time being. The actor said:

"Neill's got to stop lying to the public, because it's creating havoc. It's like if you say you're going to do it, dude, just do it because now I'm sitting trying to ... It was just there was a timing thing with what was going on sociopolitically that he was concerned about. He just wants to sort of time it right. So it looks like it's going to be another two years. But you know, what's another two years once it's been like, what, 12? So hopefully we're shooting in like two years time. Let's see."

'A topic in American history'

We heard previously that "District 10" would deal with "a topic in American history" without much elaboration on what it meant. When Sharlto Copley says "there was a timing thing with what was going on sociopolitically," that could mean any number of things, but it again makes me wonder if the idea they have for the sequel has something to do with America's racial history. This would go along with the first film, which used the term "prawn" as a kind of racial epithet for an oppressed alien species in an apartheid-esque shantytown in Johannesburg, South Africa, where Neill Blomkamp was born. Copley's character, the bureaucrat Wikus, learns a bit of empathy for the prawn as he starts turning into one.

Writing about his birthplace is one thing, but with everything that's happened in U.S. politics the last few years, maybe Blomkamp — who now holds Canadian citizenship — felt it wasn't the right time for someone with an outside perspective to be wading into such a minefield. If that's the case, there's no telling when things will ever cool off, and it feels like the long-gestating "District 10" might have missed its chance to strike while the iron was hot for a "District 9" sequel. That said, for every belated sequel that was poorly received, like "Sin City: Dame to Kill for," there's one that fared better critically and commercially, such as "Top Gun: Maverick."

While "District 10" may wind up being a legacy sequel by the time we see it, "Prey" is another recent movie that shows you can still revive a dead property and inject new life into it if you have the right idea. Meet you back here in two years to discuss the development status of "District 10" again ...