Blomkamp creates new world with ‘Chappie’

There’s nothing better for Neill Blomkamp than creating a cinematic playground of science fiction.

So much so that sometimes other stuff falls down the director’s priority list.

“Scripts and actors and characters for me take a backseat to visual or conceptual design, and film lets you play with those if you want to,” says the South African filmmaker, 35. “That’s definitely more my domain.”

His movie Chappie (in theaters Friday) envisions a futuristic world policed by robots, and one of them is stolen and raised to be human. It’s akin to those scenarios Blomkamp’s already created on screen: In 2009’s Oscar-nominated District 9 it was a tweaked vision of apartheid in South Africa but with segregated refugee extra-terrestrials; and 2013’s Elysium tackled immigration, class warfare and other struggles as it showcased a luxury space station for the rich and a wrecked Earth for everyone else.

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