Exclusive: Sharlto Copley says District 10 is “year-and-a-half” from shooting

Sharlto Copley in Beast and District 9Universal Pictures/Sony Pictures

Sharlto Copley has given an update on District 10, the long-awaited sequel to District 9: it’s a “year-and-a-half” away from shooting, minimum.

In 2005, Neill Blomkamp released a short, mockumentary-style film titled Alive in Joburg, exploring the lives of extraterrestrial refugees in South Africa, and the tensions arising from the apartheid regime. Four years later, it was adapted into a feature-length movie.

In an era of peak sci-fi – between The Matrix and Avatar – District 9 earned a prestigious spot: it’s recognized as one of the greatest films of the past 20 years, grossed more than $210 million off a tiny budget, and demand for a sequel is still rife after all this time.

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Blomkamp teased a follow-up before the original film hit cinemas, and while development appears to have been steady, it’s also been grindingly slow. Updates have been few and far between -particularly with the director’s axed Alien 5 and him recently signing onto an adaptation of Gran Turismo – but District 10 is definitely moving in the right direction, according to Copley.

District 10 is “year-and-a-half” from shooting, Sharlto Copley says

Copley stars alongside Idris Elba in Beast, a nightmarish, safari creature feature. Its plot is simple: while exploring a private reserve in South Africa, a bloodthirsty rogue lion ambushes them and leaves them stranded in the wilderness with nowhere to go, and nobody to hear their screams.

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Ahead of the film’s release on August 26, we sat down with Copley. Inevitably, the conversation pivoted towards District 9, and whether he could tell us anything about the sequel – if even just a timeframe.

After Dexerto spoke to Blomkamp about District 10, who told us it was coming “in the near future”, Copley said he “might have been slightly white-lying.”

“Because as it turned out… I mean, I think he believed it at the time, but now he’s doing Gran Turismo, so that’s going to be a year-and-a-half before we can get to D10.”

While we may not see it in the “near future” after all, the actor said District 10 is “getting close… like we had drafts of it that we’re going back and forth [with].”

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“Let’s say a year-and-a-half, two-year timeframe… that we’re shooting. I’m not promising, this is not a promise from me,” he said, laughing.

Beast hits cinemas on August 26.