Back in December word came out that District 9 director Neill Blomkamp had made a movie in secret during the COVID-19 lockdown and now that film has a release date. The Hollywood Reporter brings word of the film's acquisition, reporting that IFC Midnight has nabbed the rights to his new film, titled "Demonic." They report that he film is a "supernatural horror thriller about a young woman unleashing terrifying demons when supernatural forces at the root of a decades old rift between mother and daughter are ruthlessly revealed." Carly Pope (Arrow, Elysium), Chris William Martin (The Vampire Diaries) and Michael Rogers (Siren) star. Written and directed by Blomkamp the film will be released on August 20, 2021.
"Neil Blomkamp exploded onto the filmmaking scene with District 9 and has made his mark by creating films that challenge and subvert the genre," Arianna Bocco, president of IFC Films, said in a statement. "It's exciting to work together on this highly anticipated new vision, and be immersed in yet another world terrifyingly similar to our own." Two other films are currently scheduled for that same release date including Universal's sci-fi drama Bios and PAW Patrol: The Movie, no doubt making Demonic some nice counter programming.
It was previously reported that the new film came about after the Taylor Kitch-led action thriller The Inferno, previously intended to be Blomkamp's next project, was delayed by the pandemic. With that project on hiatus, the writer/director and AGC Studios decided to develop a "more nimble" production, resulting in a small cast and a strong sci-fi and VFX component which could be completed in isolated post-production.
Production took place over the summer with on-set COVID protocols in place. Deadpool and District 9 alum Julian Clarke edited the film which had Volition alum Byron Kopman acting as director of photography.
After making a splash with his debut feature film District 9 in 2009, which went on to be nominated for four Academy Awards including Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture, Blomkamp's career has been hit-or-miss critically with diminishing returns at the box office to boot. He's also been attached to multiple high-profile sequels and reboots that never materialized including a feature film adaptation of the Halo video games, a film set in the Alien franchise, and even RoboCop Returns.
One project that continues to linger however, with Blomkamp himself leading the charger that it will happen, is the long anticipated District 10. The filmmaker said earlier this year that the project is "moving forward."
(Cover photo by Britta Pedersen/picture alliance via Getty Images)