When the first trailer and images for Neill Blomkamp's new sci-fi flick Chappie hit, it wasn't hard to see the renegade robot's resemblance to the rabbit-eared android from the anime and manga series Appleseed. Created by Masamune Shirow in 1985, Appleseed is a gritty, cyberpunk mecha series featuring the urban law enforcement team of Deunan Knute and her bio-android partner, Briareos Hecatonchires, in the post-apocalyptic metropolis of Olympus. In a recent interview with Anime News Network, Blomkamp certainly wasn't shy about admitting to Appleseed's design influence and similarities when creating his film's title character's distinctive look. Here are his forthright comments:
Masamune Shirow, he has one robot called Briareos that has these rabbit ears. I just love that as a design feature, so I put that robot in the short. When I made Chappie, I was like, "Obviously, the robot will be based on that robot, and the fictional company that made that robot will make the fictional robots in the full feature film."
The short Blomkamp is referring to is Tetra Vaal, a stop-motion sci-fi short starring an antenna-eared urban pacification android in a mock advertisement for a robotics corporation, made when he was just 23 and optioned by Columbia Pictures in 2012 to expand into a feature film. The resemblance between the two robots is pretty apparent, and Blomkamp makes no claims to the contrary. Here's where the roots of Chappie began.
Whether you think the robot's nearly identical design will help or hurt the project, it's refreshing to hear a filmmaker honestly admit his specific inspirations. Starring Sharlto Copley, Hugh Jackman, Dev Patel, Sigourney Weaver, Yo-Landi Visser and Ninja, Chappie hits theaters on March 6, 2015.
Now take a peek at Poster Posse's killer collection of fan-art tribute posters from Phase 1 and Phase 2 of their online salute to Chappie and tell us which ones simply must adorn your den!