Dev Patel in Early Talks to Star in Neill Blomkamp's Next Movie (Exclusive)

Dev Patel Headshot - P 2012
<p>Dev Patel Headshot - P 2012</p>   |   Getty Images
"Chappie," the filmmaker's follow-up to the upcoming "Elysium," is based on his 2004 short "Tetra Vaal."

Dev Patel may be returning to the slums.

The actor, who broke through with his award-winning performance in 2008’s Slumdog Millionaire, is in early talks to star in the sci-fi movie Chappie, Neill Blomkamp's follow-up to Elysium.

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MRC, which backed the upcoming Elysium, is also behind the latest movie. Blomkamp wrote the script with Terri Tatchell, and Simon Kinberg is producing.

Major story details are being kept under lock and key, but Chappie is based on a short Blomkamp made titled Tetra Vaal, a fake ad for a robotic police force patrolling the slums of South Africa. (Watch the short below.)

Sharlto Copley is already on board and would play a police robot working the shanty towns.

Patel, should a deal be made, will play the film’s human lead, a young man in the impoverished town.

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Patel, whose feature credits also include M. Night Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender and the hit The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, next returns for the second season of HBO’s The Newsroom. The Aaron Sorkin-created show has its season premiere July 14.

Patel is repped by UTA, Magnolia Entertainment, Lichter Grossman and agent Curtis Brown in the U.K.

Elysium is set for an Aug. 9 release.

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