When December comes and we're looking back upon the year that was, we'll most likely be talking about a 2013 that gave us a lot of great coming-of-age movies and a whole ton of freaky sci-fi flicks. One of those sci-fi flicks is Elysium, which hits theaters on August 9, after Oblivion and After Earth, and it marks the follow-up for District 9 director Neill Blomkamp.
UPDATE: Here's the new trailer (also watch on Yahoo) ...
In addition to the film's first trailer (watch above), we also have a new poster for you to check out below. Also, we've picked out the most important things to know about the summer blockbuster based on its exhilarating presentation at last year's San Diego Comic-Con and you can devour it all below.
What It's About
Set in the year 2154, Matt Damon stars as Max, a former criminal trapped on the wasteland that is now Earth, working the daily grind in what looks to truly be a hellhole. The wealthy have all left the planet for Elysium, a perfectly crafted society hovering above Earth where there's a cure for all sickness and those who can afford it live immaculate lives.
When Max is involved in an on-the-job accident involving radioactive awfulness, he's given five days to live and must return to his criminal roots in order to find a way off Earth and to Elysium, where he can be cured. Part of this involves being retrofitted with some sort of armored suit that extends his life and gives him enough strength to rip the heads right off the lethal droids hunting him down.
Our Matt Damon Interview
The Big Hightlights
-- Think Mad Max meets WALL-E, with a hard-R rating that includes tons of cursing, blood, violence and plenty of scenes involving people exploding.
-- The seven minutes of footage we were shown was explosive and powerful; a true original sci-fi tone that's dark, bleak and creative, especially with its maniacal villain, played by Sharlto Copley.
-- Speaking of Copley, his character looks like a homeless badass who wields a sword and ninja-like throwing stars that explode once they hit flesh.
-- Some of the film was shot on location in Mexico City inside the world's second-largest garbage dump. Needless to say this caused some issues. Not only was the dust in the air all fecal matter, but with a lot of scenes involving helicopters, the actors would end plenty of takes covered from head to toe in, well, "dust."
-- Blomkamp brought back a lot of the same crew from District 9 to help create the film, which looks like it was made for a lot more money than it actually was. A lot of credit was given to Blomkamp from the cast, all of whom said he was incredible prepared.
-- The hardest stunt on the film involved Matt Damon's stunt guy crawling underneath a cart full of pigs, which were so freaked out that they urinated all over him continuously.
What They Said
Neill Blomkamp: It’s a film about an orbital space station called Elysium. Earth is diseased and has been left behind and the money and resources have left with it.
Matt Damon: My character is trying to get to the space station because he’s dying and it has health care.
The first time I met Neill, he gave me this whole graphic novel of different weapons systems and vehicles [that would be in Elysium] and I looked at the stuff and told my wife, “There’s no way we’re going to let this get away.” So we planned our whole life around it. The level of detail that went into it was great. And after I saw District 9, Neill went to the top of the list of people I wanted to work with and I feel so lucky it came around to me so quickly.
Jodie Foster: I play a political figure. When I saw the script and luckily it had a female character that I could play.It’s about all sorts of things that matter to me and it’s interesting to see somebody be able to marry an intellectual idea with beautiful primitive gut-wrenching explosions and death.
I have one scene with Matt and in that scene he’s very quiet, he was being held captive. [Laughs] So there was only moaning.
Sharlto Copley: The key for me was to play a villain, to be able to access two parts of myself because it was very different from roles that I have played before. My character has seen a lot of violence and has grown up in a very hard environment and a very dangerous way. I’ve been involved in violent things happening and seen a lot of violence and to be able to come to an understanding that there is a certain level of violence that exerts in the world. Secondarily to almost see the world is a black-and-white way.
The last time I had seen a really entertaining villain was Heath Ledger’s Joker so I felt that with this character I had the opportunity to do something different. He’s very dark and intimidating but hopefully audiences will also find a certain level of charisma and entertainment value. Blomkamp allowed me to do my own thing.
Elysium hits theaters on August 9.