Although 'District 9' highlighted a world that most audiences had never seen – the sociocultural divide in South Africa, writ large as a genre parable -- Neill Blomkamp’s debut film offered them something that was possibly even more unique, and significant: It felt like the first science-fiction movie in a long time that was completely original.
Duncan Jones and Gareth Edwards’ projects, 'Moon' and 'Monsters,' respectively, came soon therafter, but the trio reminded the world – not to mention Hollywood’s money-counters – that it was possible to tell stories that didn’t come from an already-popular book series, toy line or canceled television show. And now, with 'Elysium,' Blomkamp faces the pressure of following through on that promise: working with Matt Damon and Jodie Foster on a big-budget adventure financed by Sony, the filmmaker must demonstrate that his first film was not a fluke, but the future of genre filmmaking.
In case you missed it, the first trailer for 'Elysium,' director Neill Blomkamp's highly anticipated follow-up to 'District 9,' debuted last night with some incredible footage of Matt Damon in his cyborg-y armor and a breathtaking look at sci-fi paradise. (Click here to watch it in HD.) To accompany the new footage, Sony released a batch of new images featuring the cast's main players and teasing some of the action.
In a future where the rich live in the luxurious space station Elysium and everyone else suffers on the now dismal Earth, a blue-collar man finds himself on a mission that could restore equality to the classes.
Nine months after debuting some promising snippets of footage at the Comic-Con 2012 in San Diego, writer/director Neill Blomkamp, stars Matt Damon and Sharlto Copley, and producer Simon Kinberg unveiled the first theatrical trailer for the director's highly-anticipated follow-up to 'District 9,' 'Elysium.' Not one but two auditoriums full of press and eager fans – in Los Angeles, and via satellite, Germany – saw the trailer and then looked on as the four collaborators discussed their work on the upcoming science-fiction film and unveiled more footage. And we there to relay all the juicy details.
Director Neill Blomkamp's feature film debut 'District 9' took Comic-Con by storm in 2009. A science-fiction offering that managed to deliver stunning effects, cultural relevance, an original story and a tragically beautiful character arc in one fell swoop, 'D 9' thrust Blomkamp onto the world stage in a significant way and was eventually nominated for an Academy Award.
His follow-up film, 'Elysium,' is easily one of the most highly anticipated films of next year. Matt Damon, Jodi Foster and 'District 9''s Sharlto Copley star in the film which is "set in the year 2159, where the very wealthy live on a man-made space station while the rest of population reside on a ruined Earth. The story follows a man (Damon) who takes on a mission that could bring equality to the polarized worlds."
We had the opportunity to sit down with Blomkamp at this year's Con to discuss the trend he sees in big Hollywood event films, what an actor's celebrity brings to a story and taking on politically charged cinema.
For the past twenty or so years we've seen all sorts of video games adapted into decent movies. We've dealt with the so-so 'Resident Evil' movie franchise, the laughably bad 'Super Mario Bros' film, but what fans of this video game generation were really curious to see was what kind of cinematic magic filmmaker Neill Blomkamp ('District 9') and producer Peter Jackson could possibly do on 'Halo.' Unfortunately we never found out (and we never will).