Elysium, scheduled to hit theaters nationwide on August 9th, is the rare effect-filled summer event movie that's not a sequel or a remake. Nor is it based on a comic book, action figure, board game, or any familiar, hypothetically marketable property.
Our first look at footage from the film kicks off by introducing the titular setting: Elysium is an idyllic, relaxed locale in 2159 where there's no war or visible poverty, robots do menial tasks, and medi-bots can solve any medical issues. It's a massive space station, a high-tech yet also picturesque paradise. The problem is, Elysium is only for the superwealthy. While the rich live the high life in space, the vast majority of humanity live in squalor on the overpopulated, polluted, and generally ravaged surface of Earth.
Matt Damon stars as Max, a chronically unlucky Earthling who, in desperation, concocts a plan to get himself to Elysium, or he calls it, "the most heavily guarded place in the universe." While he's being outfitted with a painful-looking exoskeleton, Secretary Rhodes, an Elysium inhabitant played by Jodie Foster, throws her weight behind ensuring that no one, Max included, disrupts the inequality on which Elysium runs. To that end, she assigns a brutal mercenary to stop Max at any cost. That mercenary is played by Sharlto Copley, who starred as Wikus van der Merwe in District 9.
Watch the trailer below or in high definition at Yahoo! Movies, where it just debuted.
Blomkamp's 2009 feature directorial debut was a strange, beautiful beast that recalled nothing quite so much as Paul Verhoeven's RoboCop. A socially conscious, smart sci-fi action adventure with contemporary commentary, a scathingly satirical sense of humor, lots of fanboy friendly hardware, and even some cartoonish violence.
IAR Managing Editor Jami Philbrick had the opportunity to speak with Blomkamp this week, and the director explained that the obvious extrapolation from modern socioeconomic inequality is secondary to the need for summer movie spectacle, saying, “Basically, I think that in the realm of commercial popcorn cinema the amount of message of ideas you can get in there is quite limited. Like if you think you're actually going to make a difference or change the world, you're on pretty dangerous, thin ice.”
To read Blomkamp's thoughts on the film's political implications, the hardware sported by Damon, Copley's performance as the villain, and product placement, as well as a description of ten minutes of sneak peek footage, head over to Philbrick's report by clicking here.
In accordance with ancient internet custom, Sony also issued the first Elysium teaser poster to accompany the trailer. Check it out: