A completely ordinary MNU agent who finds himself in an extraordinary situation. When tasked with evicting the aliens from the titular district, Wikus is sprayed by a mysterious alien liquid. He begins to undergo an unusual transformation into something inhuman, forcing him to go on the run.
Adorkable: He has his moments. One of the last scenes in the film is archive footage of him working with the documenters, and he pulls out the little wedding photo of his wife and gushes over her a little bit.
Let me show you my wife...My special angel! She even looks like an angel, with a halo. You want to see that, you see—with the white...the white veil over the...over the head...She even looks like an angel. Everybody insists that his wife is an angel but this is a real angel that you are seeing there...on the cameras...they won't put that in the video, I know.
Amoral Afrikaner: Subverted. He starts out doing pretty reprehensible things, but he is not a monster, over the course of the movie, her begins to show more of a conscience, as more of MNU's atrocities come to light and as he starts transforming.
Hidden Depths: He has quite the artistic side. As noted below, his bumbling persona is at least partly an act; however, he is so far in over his head and freaked out throughout the movie that it's hard to gauge how intelligent he really is.
Jerkass: Appears to be at first. It's tough to sympathize with him when one of his earlier scenes in the movie has him aborting a nest of prawn eggs and joking about it.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: What he eventually develops into, though any scene in which he discusses his wife implies he's been one all along. He's also appalled at the experiments MNU is running on captive prawns and refuses to shoot one during weapons testing.
Karmic Transformation: Remember the scene where he kills a bunch of baby prawns? Suddenly, seeing him turn into a prawn is a lot more poetic.
It's also interesting in that it's probably what saves him in the end. If he hadn't turned entirely into a prawn and blended in with the others in District 9, he would've likely been found, captured and sliced up in an MNU laboratory.
Even prior to this he seems appalled on what the Government is really doing with the Prawns regardless of his condition and had no clue what was going on though this in part fuels his character development. He seems to bear no ill will towards the Prawns even in the beginning. He also calls them Prawns which is considered derogatory though mainly due to lack of a better term and is really just carrying out orders, but due to his condition and the realization on what the government is doing with them he seems to better emphasize with them then he did previously.
Action Survivor: When you consider that by his own species' standards, he's an average worker, though clearly an exceptional average worker, being able to achieve what humans thought only members of the aliens' leader caste (probably a subspecies) could achieve, namely, refueling and operating their ship.
That's assuming he wasn't a high ranking officer or captain of the ship in the first place.
Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Brutally murders several gangsters remotely to save Wikus. Not a big deal on its own, but he evinces no real emotion other than youthful enthusiasm, and the deaths are pretty intense.
Tania Smit van de Merwe
Played By Vanessa Haywood
Wikus' loyal and loving wife. She is also the daughter of Piet Smit.
Smart People Speak The Queen's English: He is an Afrikaner, like most of the cast, but consciously speaks with a British English accent. According to the DVD commentary, they wanted to show the class difference between Piet and Wikus.