Before They Were Stars: Sharlto Copley in Neill Blomkamp’s “Alive in Joburg”

With Neill Blomkamp’s Elysium currently playing in theatres and Sharlto Copley pretty much stealing the film with his performance as the ultra-psychotic villain, I thought it would be appropriate to post the film which started their collaboration together. Of course, they both found fame in 2009 with the release of District 9, but the film’ premise was initially explored in a short film they made three years earlier. In Alive in Joburg, aliens have become refugees in Johannesburg, South Africa and Copley plays the role of a sniper who keeps an eye on them. The short is only six minutes long, but once Blomkamp got the budget and resources to expand this premise into a feature-length film, the end result was one of the most acclaimed sci-fi blockbusters of the past decade.

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