Even though District 9 snagged him an Oscar nomination and somehow got him on the rumor list for directing The Hobbit, Neill Blomkamp has stayed remarkably under-the-radar since his $30 million directorial debut earned more than $200 million worldwide. Now it's finally time to him to come forward with his next project, and no, it's not the District 9 sequel. According to Deadline Blomkamp and his District 9 star Sharlto Copley are planning another sci-fi feature together, this one called Elysium and set on a distant planet.

Blomkamp is meeting with various studios, and in addition to giving a verbal pitch with his ideas, he's including a graphic novel-- a gambit that helped him get Peter Jackson as a producer on District 9.In addition to courting studios Blomkamp is meeting with people who represent actors, as no one but Copley has been cast yet. And there's no telling if this anything to do with the viral short that Blomkamp directed recently, though given that the short seems to center around an Earth-based company that's genetically engineering mutants, I'd doubt the two are connected.

Sony is still pushing hard for Blomkamp to make a District 9 sequel, and it may still happen, but given that the guy seems to have imagination to spare I'm happy to see him moving forward with something different. And Copley, whose Hollywood career got off to an awkward start with a role in The A-Team, should be glad to get back in business with Blomkamp, who guided him to a phenomenal performance as Wikus van der Merwe in District 9. Hopefully a studio will get on board with Blomkamp's pitch shortly and we'll get a look at this project within the next few years.

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