Neill Blomkamp’s Chappie may have inspired the latest Call of Duty game… but the South-African director is far from happy about it.
Appearing on Twitter, the 35-year-old filmmaker was rather vocal after the release of the Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 teaser trailer… and he’s not too happy about how some of their 3D models look.
“Haha, do you guys want the actual 3d meshes too?” he sarcastically asked. “Maybe we should hand over the alien ones now, so you can get a head start. @CallofDuty”
Of course, it doesn’t take a professor of robotics to work out exactly what’s wrong here – the robotic enemies in the game’s trailer look rather similar to his own robotic creation, Chappie.
Obviously, the similarities are instantly apparent… especially when you stack them up side-by-side.
And clearly Blomkamp is not a happy chappie.
But does he really have a leg to stand on?
During an interview with Anime News Network, the director admitted that his original designs took inspiration from the anime series, Appleseed.
“Masamune Shirow, he has one robot called Briareos that has these rabbit ears,” he said. “I just love that as a design feature, so I put that robot in the short. When I made Chappie, I was like, ‘Obviously, the robot will be based on that robot, and the fictional company that made that robot will make the fictional robots in the full feature film’.”
And it’s not just the design that’s similar…
Created in 1985 by Masamune Shirow, Appleseed is a gritty, cyberpunk anime and manga series which features an urban law enforcement team consisting of Deunan Knute and her bio-android partner, Briareos Hecatonchires.
Not exactly a huge leap away from Chappie’s origin as a police robot.
And let’s not forget that the recent sci-fi action flick has been compared to the likes of Short Circuit and Robocop due to its obvious ‘80s connections. To put it simply, Chappie is the kind of film which draws inspiration from all over the place. At what point do you start to see ‘inspiration’ become something else entirely? That seems to be something Neill Blomkamp is wrestling with…
So perhaps filmmakers in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.
Of course, that’s not to say that Blomkamp hasn’t got a point.
The robots in the Call of Duty trailer certainly bear a resemblance to his robotic protagonist… even if they aren’t quite 100% the same.
But how they fit into the overall story of Black Ops 3 remains to be seen.
Either way, it seems that Neill Blomkamp is taking it on the chin for now. But should any of those robotic enemies gain consciousness, perhaps that would be another story.
**Update: Neill Blomkamp has seemingly responded to our article with the following:
What do you think of Neill Blomkamp’s reaction? Do the Call of Duty robots really look anything like Chappie? Let us know what you think in the comments below…