Neill Blomkamp Prepping Sci-Fi Thriller 'Inferno,' Taylor Kitsch to Star

Neill Blomkamp - Getty - H 2018
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Stuart Ford's AGC Studios is backing the film, set to mark the 'District 9' director's first feature since 'Chappie.'

Science fiction hero Neill Blomkamp is finally moving forward on his fourth feature. 

The South African filmmaker — who made a major Oscar-nominated splash with his 2009 directorial debut District 9 — is prepping sci-fi thriller Inferno, with Taylor Kitsch attached to star and production expected to commence in early 2020. The film, being fully financed and produced by Stuart Ford's AGC Studios, which will launch sales at the American Film Market in November, will mark Blomkamp's first feature since 2015's Chappie

Once again blurring the line between humans and aliens, Inferno is described by the filmmakers as a "one-of-a-kind epic sci-fi thriller where nothing is what it seems." Kitsch will play a cop called in to investigate a seemingly ordinary murder in the New Mexico desert. The arrival of the FBI confirms his suspicions that something much bigger — perhaps even extraterrestrial — is at play.

The hunt for the killer soon puts him face-to-face with a humanoid beast that will stop at nothing to exterminate the one witness to the crime. As the hunt becomes personal with the abduction of his wife, "everything he knows about the universe will be challenged, and our connection to other life forces in the universe will be revealed."

"I am very excited to be getting behind the camera and making Inferno with AGC," said Blomkamp, who followed up District 9 with the Matt Damon-starring Elysium in 2013. "The film is filled with themes and concepts that I find deeply fascinating. I feel lucky to be shooting it."

Added AGC's Ford: "Over the last decade, Neill Blomkamp has proven himself to be one of the most innovative creators of science fiction cinema in the world, and I'm convinced that Inferno is going to break new ground and take Neill's body of work to even greater heights."

Inferno lands after a few years of bumpy rides on big-name sci-fi franchises for Blomkamp, who in 2015 looked set to join the Alien family after posting hugely well-received concept art for a fifth installment online, with Fox putting it into development. But Ridley Scott revealed that this project had been shelved while promoting his own Alien: Covenant in 2017.

Last year it was announced that Blomkamp was directing MGM's Robocop Returns, a direct sequel to Paul Verhoeven's 1987 original and what felt like a dream collaboration given the tech-heavy nature of his films. However, earlier this year he tweeted that he was no longer working on the project.

Blomkamp is repped by ICM. Kitsch is repped by CAA and Untitled Entertainment. CAA Media Finance brokered the AGC financing deal and will co-represent domestic and Chinese rights.