The poignant and heartfelt 2015 dystopian movie ‘Chappie’ is a gritty and exciting cyberpunk chronicle imbued with political awareness. Directed by Neill Blomkamp, the film centers around the prodigious titular robot. When a certain group of people gets their hands on the robot, they begin treating it like a human child and name him Chappie. With some reprogramming, Chappie becomes a sentient being. Upon its release, the science fiction film was unfortunately met with a lukewarm response.
However, since then, it has attained cult status, thanks to genre fans and avid followers of the noted director of ‘District 9.’ The cinematic story unfolds in a bleak and dystopian atmosphere, while the original score by Hans Zimmer creates an ambiance of tension and intrigue. You must be curious to know the locations where the film was shot. In that case, let us share with you all the information we have gathered.
Chappie Filming Locations
‘Chappie’ was primarily filmed in South Africa, with re-shoots carried out in Canada. Filming for the project commenced at the end of October 2013 and was wrapped up by February 2014, although some additional filming continued through April 2014. Let us take you to the specific locations where the film was shot!
Johannesburg, South Africa
The majority of the movie was filmed in various locations of Johannesburg, which is the capital city of Gauteng province and the largest metropolitan area in South Africa. The South African-Canadian director, Neill Blomkamp, chose to film most of the sequences on his home turf in Johannesburg. The crew filmed extensively in the region, visiting some iconic locations in the process.
The hollow tower in the movie is actually Ponte City, a skyscraper located in the Berea suburb of Johannesburg, which is not far from the neighborhood of Hillbrow. The 55-story cylindrical marvel was constructed with an open center so that the apartments could receive more light. However, in the 1980s and 1990s, the building and the surrounding area were overrun by criminal activities. Despite numerous attempts at restoration, it seems that the building is not in use anymore.
Some sequences were filmed on the Nelson Mandela Bridge, a cable-stayed bridge that connects two of the most bustling business districts of the city, i.e., Braamfontein and Newtown. The bridge is also a part of the M27 Route of Johannesburg.
Gauteng, South Africa
Apart from Johannesburg, filming was also carried out in different parts of the province of Gauteng. In the film, you may have noticed two futuristic-looking cooling towers smudged with graffiti. These scenes were shot near Orlando Power Station, an iconic coal power station in Soweto. Although decommissioned in 1998, the WWII-era power plant is a landmark structure that is one of the defining elements of Soweto’s skyline.
The filming crew captured a chunk of sequences at Denel Kempton Park Campus, a university located at 47 Friedman Street, in the Kempton Park area in Gauteng. The location doubles in the film as Tetravaal Labs, where most of the indoor sequences were shot.
Vancouver, British Columbia
Although the filming for ‘Chappie’ was primarily carried out in South Africa, Vancouver in British Columbia played a crucial role in the special effects portion of the production. Vancouver is home to many state-of-the-art VFX studios such as Sony Pictures Imageworks, Method Studios, and Bardel Entertainment Inc., among several others. According to sources, Image Engine Design Inc. and The Embassy VFX were associated with the production of this action movie.
Vancouver has established itself as a significant hub of film and television production in the 21st century and has been consequentially rechristened as “Hollywood of the North.” Due to the ease of filming and availability of skilled technicians, filmmakers from all over the world flock to the city every year.
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