District 9 is a 2009 science fiction film directed by Neill Blomkamp, written by Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell, and produced by Peter Jackson. The film stars Sharlto Copley, Jason Cope, and Robert Hobbs. Copley plays the role of Wikus van de Merwe, a bureaucrat assigned to relocate a stranded alien species from a refugee camp in Johannesburg to a new one outside the city. After being exposed to a substance that slowly transforms him into an alien, Wikus must become a fugitive to help the aliens escape the planet and save his humanity.
The story, adapted from Alive in Joburg, a 2005 short film directed by Neill Blomkamp and produced by Sharlto Copley, deals with the issues of xenophobia and social segregation. The title and premise of District 9 were inspired by historical events that took place in South Africa during the apartheid in a residential area of Cape Townnamed District Six. The film was produced for $30 million and shot on location in Chiawelo, Soweto, presenting fictional interviews, news footage, and video from surveillance cameras in the style of a mockumentary. A viral marketing campaign began in 2008 at the San Diego Comic-Con, and the theatrical trailer appeared in July 2009. Released on August 14, 2009 in North America by TriStar Pictures, the film received positive reviews and earned $37 million on its opening weekend