Neill Blomkamp is currently cutting together his third film, the South Africa-set gangsters-and-robots black comedy, Chappie. The picture stars Sharlto Copley as the lead character, a robot, and Hugh Jackman and Dev Patel as a couple of… well, humans.
Also appearing in the film are Die Antwoord’s Ninja and Yolandi Visser as a pair of gangsters. According to reports from South African Sunday Paper City Press, however, Ninja has had his part reduced as a result of his bad behavior on set.
The harshest part of their story quotes members of the crew who then, in turn, quote Blomkamp:
“I don’t ever want to be in the same room as him again,” said Blomkamp of Ninja, according to sources.
There’s apparently at least one scene in the film where Ninja’s lines were given to another actor. Here’s the story as per City Press:
After the production took a Christmas break – and as Hollywood star Hugh Jackman flew into the country to shoot his scenes – the production was informed of a script change.
Jackman’s character was supposed to have interacted with Ninja’s character – a gangster who abducts security robot Chappie (Sharlto Copley) to use for his own evil ends.
Instead, Ninja was written out and the scene was given to Copley to handle.
“It was because he didn’t want Ninja back on set,” said a source, quoting a senior crew member.
None of this necessarily has to impact on the overall film too seriously, though I do wonder what sort of performance Ninja will be giving in the scenes where he does appear? If he was just “pure evil” on set, as City Press quote one of the crew as saying, then I don’t know how confident I am that he would also have turned in a committed, serious performance while the camera was rolling.
I hope to be proven wrong. Chappie is set for release in the US on March 27th next year.