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Whatever Happened To The Cast Of Chappie?

In 2015, director Neill Blomkamp (the mind behind "District 9" and "Elysium") released the story of "Chappie." It follows the journey of a police robot, imbued with sentience, as he receives a crash course in the nature of humanity. Set in Johannesburg, South Africa, "Chappie" suffers a less-than-ideal upbringing in the hands of a criminal group headed by Ninja and Yo-Landi Visser (of the famed rap duo "Die Antwoord"). The revolutionary AI robot begins as an infantile entity and rapidly progresses through the human experience while navigating a city on fire.

"Chappie" is an overtly South African production, with its star duo and revolutionary director, but it also comes packed with a star-studded Hollywood cast (featuring the likes of Hugh Jackman and Sigourney Weaver) and music created by legendary composer Hans Zimmer. The visual effects used to bring "Chappie" and his robot brethren to life is undeniably sleek; juxtaposed against the derelict façade of modern day Johannesburg, helping create a grounded reality for this fun romp through the criminal underworld. The sentient police bot is brought to life thanks to the motion-captured actions of "District 9" alumni, Sharlto Copely. While "Chappie" may be packaged as an action film about a naive robot learning how to live like a "gangster," running through its spine is profound questions about what truly makes us human. Here what happened to the cast of "Chappie."

Sharlto Copley as Chappie

The star of "Chappie" is undeniably the CGI effects that bring the lovable robot to life. The beginning days of his existence are spent orienting himself with our world essentially as a toddler, bright-eyed and full of innocence; but aside from his maker, Deon (Dev Patel), everyone simply sees a police robot. The criminal world does not take kindly to his existence. They seek to either control him or unleash their rage on an unwitting member of the police force. The voice behind Chappie is that of Sharlto Copley, who is also responsible for his physical mannerisms via motion capture technology.

Sharlto Copley burst onto the scene with a breakout role in the blockbuster sci-fi "District 9." The following year he got the opportunity to play an iconic role as Murdock in the reboot for "A-Team". Copley went on a tear through Hollywood over the next several years, appearing in "Elysium" and "Maleficent." Since "Chappie," he has become a series regular in the series "Russian Doll" and had a starring role in the unique first-person action flick "Hardcore Henry."

Dev Patel as Deon

The man responsible for the creation of our favorite AI is a technical wizard named Deon (Dev Patel). His programming is the blueprint that created the army of police robots governing the city of Johannesburg. Simply sitting back and marveling at his achievement is not enough though. Deon is determined to create an artificial intelligence that is truly alive, conscious, and unique. This drives him to undertake a risky endeavor that involves sneaking off with a decommissioned police bot in order to test his new AI. Deon's steadfast determination leads to the birth of "Chappie."

Patel started off strong in Hollywood with his first feature role in Danny Boyle's Oscar-winning, blockbuster hit "Slumdog Millionaire." He chose to cash in his clout with a prominent role in the live action version of "The Last Airbender" — a choice he may regret, given the film's universal lack of appeal. Patel then became a series regular on "The Newsroom" before he was cast as Deon in "Chappie." Since the film's release, Patel has continued to carve a path through Hollywood. He received a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for his role in 2016's "Lion" and then had the honor of portraying David Copperfield in the biopic "The Personal History of David Copperfield." In 2021, Patel starred in the "The Green Knight." The star is slated to star in 2022's "The Monkey Man" alongside "Chappie" co-star Sharlto Copely.

Ninja as Ninja

Ninja (real name: Watkin Tudor Jones) is a member of the South African rap duo Die Antwoord. Their massive popularity allowed the two to jointly star in "Chappie," a casting choice which fit nicely given the Johannesburg setting. Ninja plays a common criminal forced to take on a large heist in order to pay back $20 million he owes to a villain known simply as Hippo (Brandon Auret). Unlike the nurturing spirit of Deon (Dev Patel) and Yo-Landi Visser, Ninja subjects Chappie to harsh lessons about how to survive in an indifferent world.

"Chappie" marked the first feature film appearance for Ninja. His only other credits since have been in music videos for Die Antwoord and a short directed by Visser. At the time of the film's release, the rap duo was at peak popularity, which accounted for their star appearance in a major blockbuster. In recent years, Ninja has come under fire after disturbing details surfaced about an alleged sexual assault against Australian singer Zheani Sparkes. "Die Antwoord" was also dropped from several festivals after a video surfaced of a violent altercation between Ninja and musician Andy Butler. Given their band's waning popularity and the musician's mediocre performance, it's safe to say we likely won't see Ninja carving a path through Hollywood anytime soon.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Yo-Landi Visser as Yo-Landi

The actress behind the role of Yo-Landi was none other than Die Antwoord singer, Anri du Toit (known professionally as Yo-Landi Visser). Her misguided lover, Ninja, fails to see the significance of what Chappie truly is, but Yo-Landi recognizes his innocence and the need for a nurturing approach to the robot's upbringing. In multiple confrontations, she is the only person keeping Deon from receiving a bullet to the skull or Chappie from being reduced to scrap. Visser appears to be attached at the hip to her life partner, Ninja, and as such has jointly enjoyed the duo's successes — but also, they have both suffered the same fate.

Like her companion, Visser hasn't had any other feature film appearances before or since the release of "Chappie." She directed a short as well as some music videos but hasn't done much outside the Die Antwoord music productions. When allegations surfaced around Ninja's assaults (both sexual and violent) it sounded as though Visser was equally complicit in the actions taking place. Zheani Sparks released a music video accusing Visser of luring her to South Africa where she was assaulted by bandmate, Ninja. She also can be seen in a leaked video of violent confrontation with a gay musician, cheering on the fight and shouting homophobic slurs. "Chappie" may be the last time we see Visser in front of the camera in a Hollywood feature film, given recent developments.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Jose Pablo Cantillo as Amerika

A large part of the criminal dynamic surrounding "Chappie ” is brought to life thanks to Amerika (Jose Pablo Cantillo). He serves as a trusty lieutenant to Ninja and is a man that flows with each situation and does what he must. Much of Chappie's thuggish demeanor is learned in his early life moments spent alongside Amerika. Tough lessons are learned with this criminal companionship, like "don't fist bump with a robot." His background is opaque but from what we can gather through dialogue, he is stranded in Johannesburg and is searching for means that would allow him to return home to America. There is a lot of uncertainty as to just what kind of man Amerika is because he dances back and forth from being a caretaker for Chappie and also threatening to shank Deon or cut his tongue out — but he seems like a swell guy.

Amerika was played by actor Jose Pablo Cantillo, who can best be described as "that one guy in that one thing." He has appeared in an incredible amount of TV shows, ranging from a hearty run as Caesar Martinez on "The Walking Dead" to several episodes of "Sons of Anarchy" and multiple versions of "Law & Order." Cantillo worked with director Blomkamp on "Elysium," which likely helped him land the role of Amerika in "Chappie." Since the movie's release, Cantillo has starred alongside Tom Holland in the film "Cherry" and had a 10 episode run as Dave on the "Taken" TV series. Up next for the actor is an appearance in the Michael Bay directed flick "Ambulance."

Hugh Jackman as Vincent Moore

"Chappie" presents us with a different type of Hugh Jackman. Unlike his other roles, which place the actor in the role of anti-hero or endearing protagonist, this movie experience shows Jackman in a highly unlikeable role as Vincent Moore. The ex-military bro is a fellow weapons designer at Tetravaal who is frustrated that the success of Deon's Scout-model police bots is robbing him of funding for his brutish robot design, known as The Moose. Vincent is a seasoned war veteran who has been thrust into an office cubicle and his lust for battle leads him to wreak havoc on both Deon and the city of Johannesburg. If you are expecting Wolverine to eventually display likable qualities, you are going to be disappointed.

Hugh Jackman is an actor who needs little introduction. The prolific addition to the X-Men team has been a Hollywood icon for over two decades. We will always remember him for his representation of Wolverine but he kept surprising us in later years when we learned he can also sing and dance. It is almost frustrating; no single man should possess this much talent... and muscle.  After "Chappie," Jackman went on to deliver his last role as Wolverine in the well-received "Logan" and dazzled us with his role as P.T. Barnum in "The Greatest Showman." Most recently starred in the 2021 sci-fi thriller "Reminiscence." The acting legend's schedule is loaded with upcoming productions that include playing the titular role of Enzo Ferrari in the aptly named "Enzo Ferrari."

Sigourney Weaver as Michelle Bradley

The CEO of Tetravaal is played by another Hollywood legend we all know and love, Sigourney Weaver. As the head honcho, Michelle Bradley, she unwittingly hampers technological progression by refusing to allow Deon to pursue his aspirations of artificial intelligence that is truly alive. Her presence helps propel the plot forward by leaving us uncertain of where her motivations lie. Although by the time she is being manipulated by Vincent, we can tell Michelle's main objective is the business interests of Tetravaal. We found ourselves hoping to see her hop in the driver's seat of The Moose or slap on a mech suit and guard Chappie by exclaiming, "Get away from him!" while peppering in some other colorful language (we're confident you know what we're getting at here) but alas, she isn't the hero we hoped she'd be in "Chappie."

Sigourney Weaver is inarguably a staple of Hollywood cinema. Ever since her turn as Ripley in the "Alien" series and her iconic role in "Ghostbusters," we are always excited to see Weaver appear on the screen. She played a crucial role in the blockbuster powerhouse "Avatar" and has done some wonderful cameos in films like "Paul" and the cult classic "Cabin In The Woods." Since "Chappie," Weaver has lent her voice to the animated gem "Finding Dory" and showed face in the "Ghostbusters" reboot. Weave also had a significant role in the Marvel universe as Alexandra Reid on "The Defenders" TV series. Sigourney's schedule is jam packed with upcoming features but most noticeably she will be reprising roles in the "Avatar" sequels as well as "Ghostbusters: Afterlife."

Brandon Auret as Hippo

Our first introduction to the criminal misdoings of Ninja and Yo-Landi also finds us face to face with a man who is absolutely out of his mind. When their initial robbery goes awry, our primary protagonists wind up indebted to a thug known simply as, Hippo (played by Brandon Auret.) This gold-plated beefcake is not above shooting a nearby bystander just to prove a point. The driving motivation for Ninja to pull off a big heist is to collect the $20 million that Hippo claims he is owed. Given how criminally insane this man obviously is, we can see how fear can be an incredible motivator.

Brandon Auret's representation of Hippo is maniacal and we found ourselves actually wanting more of him in "Chappie." If you share that sentiment, you have a plethora of cinema to find him in; since "Chappie" he has appeared in over 20 different TV shows, films, and shorts. Most notable is his appearance in 2018's "Scorpion King: Book of Souls". Auret also had a prominent role in "Broken Darkness" and played the lead in the film "Double Echo."

Jason Cope as Tetravaal's Lead Mechanic

As the Chappie's origin story begins, one of the first people we see is the mechanic responsible for the robot's one distinctive orange antenna. The lead mechanic appears several more times through "Chappie" as Deon's go to for the hardware aspects of the police robots. He is played by Jason Cope, an actor who has sprinkled his appearances through some truly fun action flicks in the past two decades. You may recognize him mostly for his role in "District 9," where he was responsible for most of the film's world-building via documentarian-style testimonial.

Cope also appeared in 2008's "Doomsday" and played a large part in the Karl Urban headed comic book adaptation "Dredd." Since his role in "Chappie" he has appeared in several short films and also had a healthy run on the well-received TV series "Black Sails." There currently isn't anything on the actor's schedule but we will hope to get more of Cope's essential exposition in the future, or even better, a role where he can truly shine like we know he can.

Chris Shields as The TV Journalist

One of the journalists whose testimonial helps create the world Chappie lives in is represented by actor Chris Shields. His face conjures a feeling of familiarity and that's because his resume is loaded with appearances in countless TV series and major Hollywood feature films. Since his first appearance in "The Twilight Zone" in 2002, Shields hasn't gone a year without working on an entertainment production. 

Shields played Corporal Venner in "Battlestar Galactica" for several episodes and continued to capitalize on his staunch military essence with roles as soldiers in "Godzilla," "Rise of the Planet of the Apes," and hit CW series "The 100." — Shields also played a general in the feature film adaptation of "The BFG." The actor obviously knows what works best for him but his appearance in "Chappie" was a rare treat that helped set the stage well for the film. He has since had roles in a slew of TV series, including "Riverdale," "Nancy Drew," and "Catwoman." Up next for Shields is a role in a TV production of "A Christmas Stray" and the feature film "Crimson Point."

Bill Marchant as The Professor

Where would we be in our world-building in "Chappie" without the appearance of a resident professor describing the evolutionary significance of this AI system? Lost and confused, that's where. In the opening moments of "Chappie," one of the testimonials delivered is from actor Bill Marchant. This actor has been dancing through Hollywood for over two decades in various roles since his appearance in the 1997 TV series "Dead Man's Gun." Marchant went on to appear in several episodes of "Stargate SG-1," "The 100," and "Strange Empire." He also had a small role in 2014's "Godzilla."

Since his appearance in "Chappie," Marchant has kept busy with roles of varying size in "La Quinceañera," "The Crossing," and "Christmas Ever After." He also played the role of Elliot on the feature film "Volition." Here's hoping we get a heartier helping of the acting veteran in the future.

Robert Hobbs as The Police Commissioner

As the plot of "Chappie" progresses, it becomes disturbingly apparent how determined Vincent is to unleash his battle bot on the populace. A major turning point for his temperament occurs in a meeting with police staff where he tries to sell them on his monstrosity. The officers are annoyingly amused with his attempts to portray The Moose as a viable option for them. The police commissioner (Hobbs) expresses his disdain for the creation through mouthfuls of cream-filled pastries. Robert Hobbs plays the chief officer perfectly — his indifference to Johannesburg's turmoil creates the image of a seasoned member of law enforcement.

Robert Hobbs is a South African native who was an obvious choice for casting in "Chappie." The actor had worked with Blomkamp before on the set of "District 9." He has also had roles in major Hollywood productions such as "Invictus" and "Safe House." Since "Chappie," Hobbs has appeared in the TV series "Black Sails" and is a regular on the show "Warrior." He had a role alongside Matthew McConaughey in "Serenity" and also played Captain Collins in "The Mauritanian."