How Chappie’s Director Feels About The Movie Bombing

Chappie holding a gun

When Chappie was released back in 2015, the film failed to capture an audience in the way that its co-writer and director Neill Blomkamp intended. While its return of $102.1 million from a $49 million wasn't catastrophic, Chappie's score of just 31% on Rotten Tomatoes was devastating for the filmmaker, especially considering that Blomkamp's two previous films had been so popular critically. Neil Blomkamp has now opened up about how much toil he still feels over the response to Chappie, particularly as the South-African director was able to create something extremely close to his vision with the film. Neill Blomkamp recently revealed,

Chappie was unbelievably painful for me. That was difficult on several levels. But the thing with Chappie was, it felt like it was extremely close to the film I had in my head. Up until the film came out, I felt like I had given my all, and that I'd tried my hardest to make the film I had in my head, and I felt like I achieved that.

From the sound of Neill Blomkamp's comments to Den Of Geek, it is pretty clear that he's not yet over the brutal response to Chappie. But while Blomkamp insisted it was "unbelievably painful" to see Chappie dismissed by critics and audiences, he also confessed that this reaction gave him a new understanding and appreciation of why he actually makes films. Instead of living off the reactions of critics and viewers, Neill Blomkamp is now focused on only pleasing himself. However, he's well aware of just how risky a strategy this is, and he even suggested that it might lead to him struggling to get work. Blomkamp continued,

So it put me in a very strange place for a while. I think that I completely came out of it making the right choice, which is that I'm just going to do stuff that I love. And that could actually lead to me living in the gutter. I mean it could literally lead to complete and utter collapse. But I would rather live in a dumpster, I think, being creatively honest and true to myself than not. So I think overall the result of Chappie crystallised or congealed ideas in my head in a good way. But I'm still upset the fact that it didn't work. I wish that it did, but it just didn't, and I still love it. I don't know what else to say, but the audience didn't get what I was going for. It didn't work.

While it's hard to disagree with Neill Blomkamp's closing remarks, considering the critical response to the film, there are quite a few moviegoers out there that really loved Chappie. In fact, there's every chance that the film could find itself reappraised over the ensuing years, something that has happened to the likes of Blade Runner and The Thing in the past. Let's hope that's the case, because clearly Neill Blomkamp is still in quite some pain over Chappie's treatment.