The thought of a AAA shooter based on the Oscar-nominated sci-fi movie District 9 is definitely something many would salivate at - but unfortunately Neill Blomkamp jumping into the game dev biz does not necessarily mean we'll get to pilot our own prawn mech anytime soon. The South African-Canadian director joined Gunzilla recently as Chief Visionary Officer and is working on the studio's first shooter.
Blomkamp made a name for himself with his first feature film, District 9, and went on to direct and write Elysium and Chappie, with his fourth feature film Demonic debuting later this year. Alongside these blockbusters, he has also created many short films, with the most popular ones produced under the Oats Studios label. Blomkamp's work is famous and widely praised for the impressive visual effects on display.
While the filmmaker is an avid gamer and has come into the industry's orbit previously, during his collaboration with Peter Jackson on a cancelled Halo project, he admitted to having no experience with game development. His position at Gunzilla as the never before used "Chief Visionary Officer" was described by Blomkamp as "an egalitarian version of being a film director", wherein he coordinates with various teams and departments working on the project to ensure every element follows a cohesive vision.
The difference [from directing a film] is not acting like a single point that guides the creative team. It's making sure that you're integrated into the team in a real way," he tells me. "I can come in with a very definitive point of view, but it has to work on two levels. It has to be accepted by the greater team as the right creative direction to go in. And it also has to be, first and foremost, something that can integrate into the architecture of gameplay in a way that's beneficial to the game.
Gunzilla Games is a new studio which has tapped veteran talent from some of the biggest game companies including EA, Ubisoft and Crytek. The studio is now working on an unannounced AAA shooter, which will be their debut title.
Blomkamp has stated that he believes video games are becoming "what film was for the 20th century", and wants to have a place in the industry in order to be able to achieve creative expression through this medium.
Since Gunzilla has been working on this game for a while now, and Blomkamp's previous works have rights and licenses still held by movie studios, it is basically guaranteed that this is in no way related to any of his feature films. That said, we suspect that whatever kind of game Gunzilla debuts with, it will carry many of the iconic traits we've come to love in the shorts put out by Oats Studios.
Gunzilla's shooter does not have a projected release date at this time.