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I love that Hugh Jackman is in one of the stronger periods of his acting career. After an Oscar-nominated turn in Les Misérables, he made both a decent solo Wolverine flick and most recently gave a performance in Denis Villeneuve’s taut thriller Prisoners that may very well earn him another nomination. He’s got quite a few projects in the pipeline, but according to ScreenDaily, he came clean at the Zurich Film Festival that he has been added to the cast of Neill Blomkamp’s Chappie, his low-budgeted follow up to Elysium. I was already excited about Chappie before, but this is excellent news.
He even gives a time window on when the film will start up. “I am doing a role in Neill’s new film,” Jackman confirmed, “which we shoot in Johannesburg. I’m there for a couple of weeks at the beginning of next year.” No word on what his role will be, and “doing a role” downplays the part, but whatever.
Chappie refers to a robot member of the Johannesburg police force, as voiced by Blomkamp regular Sharlto Copley. He’s stolen by a criminal gang who plan on using him for their own nefarious purposes. Ninja and Yolandi Visser, members of the South African musical duo Die Antwoord, will star as the thieves, and Walking Dead regular Jose Pablo Cantillo will star as a gangster named Yankie who wants to exploit Chappie’ A.I. I guess they’re all connected. I have no problem seeing Jackman play a bad guy, but I hope he’s part of the good guys here. If there is a Die Antwoord/Hugh Jackman fight in this movie, I will lose my balls/shit.
It’s a sci-fi film, so the post-production will probably be lengthy. In any case, we won’t be seeing it until its planned release date of March 27, 2015, ten months after we will have seen Jackman in his 41st portrayal of Wolverine.
Jackman, who received the Golden Icon Award, talked about a few future projects at a press conference for Prisoners. Remember how he’s supposed to star as P.T. Barnum in the musical The Greatest Showman on Earth? He said, “I thought it would stay in active development, if I’m honest, because new musicals are very difficult but just recently it’s taken a real turn and there’s some real momentum so watch this space.” This one seems inevitable.
In a month or so, he said he would make a decision about whether or not he would make room in his schedule for a possible Broadway take on the famed escapist Harry Houdini. But he’s taking a short break after filming four films in a row. Saying each of them, particularly Prisoners, was very compelling to him, he says he “begged [his wife] and my kids and they were understanding to a degree. So it’s time for me to go home now.”
See you on the snikt-snikt side.