LOCAL zef rap legends Yo-landi Vi$$er and Ninja have tattooed the initials of District 9, the film from South African director Neil Blomkamp, to the inside of their lips.
“Ninja and Yo-landi are huge fans of Neil’s work and we both have D9 tattooed inside our mouths,” said Vi$$er in an e-mail interview. She attached a picture of Ninja displaying the tattoo.
The leads for Die Antwoord are to star as themselves in Blomkamp’s third big screen outing, titled Chappie, which was officially picked up last week by producers Sony and MRC.
The announcement was made by Sony after the box office success of Blomkamp’s sophomore film, Elysium (due for release in South Africa on August 30).
“Ninja and Yo-landi are starring as themselves in lead roles in Chappie.
“We are not allowed to talk about the script, except that it’s the best f***in’ thing we’ve ever read in our lives,” said Vi$$er, whose real name is Anri du Toit.
The script was based on Blomkamp’s 2003 short film Tetra Vaal and tells the story of an artificially intelligent robot (played by District 9’s Sharlto Copley) who is kidnapped by the cult South African rappers.
Vi$$er said Chappie had been in development for over two years and that a “secret pilot” had already been shot.
“We shot a secret pilot/ trailer for Chappie about a year-and-a-half ago in Johannesburg that was just for in-house viewing,” said Vi$$er.
Blomkamp first made contact with the rap duo after the artists’ first music video went viral.
“Neil mailed us out of the blue three years ago after Enter the Ninja and Zefside blew up, and we became friends.”
Chappie will be the first major film either of the rappers has agreed to feature in, while making headlines in recent years for refusing big Hollywood roles including the lead in Elysium, which eventually went to Hollywood star Matt Damon.
“I think about two-and-a-half years ago Neil asked Ninja to star as the lead in Elysium, which Ninja politely turned down because Ninja didn’t want to suddenly get exposed to a huge international audience as an American-accented Hollywood actor,” said Vi$$er.
She said Academy Award-nominated director David Fincher had approached her to star as the lead in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, which “I declined for similar reasons as Ninja’s reasons not to do Elysium”.
“At this stage in our careers we are very much into presenting ourselves to the world as South Africans.”
The rap-rave artists said they would use the next few months to film Chappie and to finish recording their third album, Donker Mag, to be released next year. - The Star