The latest stage in District 9’s marketing campaign is underway, with the release of a short detailing how aliens have breached the containment perimeter around the concentration refugee camp known as District 9.
The clip is in support of Neill Blomkamp’s film of the same name, which seems to follow a more reality-based style that has more than a few echoes of his Halo shorts produced a few years ago. Peter Jackson is producing the film, which will be released on 14 August 2009. The film follows the story of aliens landing on Earth in South Africa, but being confined to a camp and put to work, with elements of it being based on Blomkamp’s previous short film, Alive In Joburg. The camp is overseen by Multi-National United, a shadowy, paramilitary corporation. William Allen Young plays Dirk Michaels, a man infected with alien DNA that becomes hunted by MNU.
The trailer asks users to call MNU if they have seen any aliens wandering around. SciFiNow dialled the number (866-666-6001) and was connected to an automated messaging service, detailing two options whereby you could find out about careers – for humans and non-humans – in MNU, and a second where you could report a sighting. The illusion is fractured slightly when the voice goes into a long disclaimer, saying that any messages left may be used by Sony in support of the movie District 9.
Other aspects of the viral marketing campaign included signs on the toilets at San Diego Comic Con 2008 barring non-humans from entering, and blogs such as MNUspreadslies.com, operated by a ‘non-human’.