First Trailer for Neill Blomkamp's 'Chappie' Debuts

"He could be the next step in evolution"

The first trailer for District 9 director Neill Blomkamp’s new science fiction project, Chappie, has debuted online via Entertainment Weekly, showcasing a story that seems part District 9, part Short Circuit.

”A machine that can think, and feel,” says Dev Patel of the eponymous robot as we see him learn about the world by interacting with his creators and watching He-Man on television. (We’ve all been there, Chappie) “Anything you want to do with your life, you can do. Write poetry, have original ideas…”

Not everyone is in favor of the next step in robotics, however. Hugh Jackman is just one of the characters to show up and complain, arguing that “the problem with artificial intelligence is that it’s too unpredictable.” Sure enough, what follows is something his creators might not have expected, as Chappie starts wearing gold chains and learning to be “cool and tough” — well, almost.

Coming so soon after the trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron, Chappie kind of looks like the antidote to that movie’s robo-fear: Instead of a mechanoid threatening death and destruction, Chappie — animated using a motion-capture performance by Sharlto Copley — belongs more to the Wall-E school of adorable androids who just want to learn how to be happy. 

Chappie will be released March 6.