Neill Blomkamp's latest sci-fi action effort, 'Elysium,' hits theaters this weekend. In the film, Matt Damon plays Max, a man living on a future, third-world version of Earth while the wealthy enjoy a utopian life on a luxury space station known as Elysium. When given only a few days to live, Max must become a reluctant hero to save himself -- and possibly the rest of humanity.

Damon leads a cast that includes Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley, and William Fichtner, so we thought we'd take a trip down memory lane to see the cast of 'Elysium' way back when.

Matt Damon, Max DeCosta


Now: Matt Damon plays Max DeCosta, the reluctant hero of 'Elysium' who must face off with an icy Secretary of Defense and her cold-blooded mercenary in order to save himself and mankind.

Then: Damon's first big role was in the 1992 ensemble drama 'School Ties,' but his big break didn't come until 1997, when he released the film he co-wrote and co-starred in with Ben Affleck, 'Good Will Hunting,' which earned them both an Academy Award for best screenplay.

Jodie Foster, Secretary of Defense Delacourt

Sony/Columbia Pictures

Now: Jodie Foster plays Secretary of Defense Delacourt, a woman set on keeping the rich cozy and comfortable in their utopian space station -- no matter the cost. The role of Delacourt was originally written with a man in mind.

Then: Foster began her career as a child actress and French pop singer. In 1976, three films put her on the map: 'Taxi Driver,' 'Bugsy Malone,' and 'Freaky Friday.'

Sharlto Copley, Agent Kruger


Now: Sharlto Copley plays 'Elysium' villain Kruger, a black-ops mercenary who does all the dirty work for Delacourt.

Then: Copley met Neill Blomkamp when the writer/director was just 16 years old. Copley let him use his own production offices and computers to work on his special effects, and Blomkamp cast him in his short film 'Alive in Joburg,' which served as the basis for 'District 9' -- the film in which Copley made his big screen debut.

Alice Braga, Frey


Now: Alice Braga plays Frey, Max's childhood friend who wants to go to Elysium to heal her ailing daughter.

Then: The Brazilian actress first caught the attention of audiences with her portrayal of Angelica in the critically-acclaimed film 'City of God.' She went on to appear in 'I Am Legend' and 'Predators.'

Diego Luna, Julio

Sony/20th Century Fox

Now: Diego Luna plays Julio, Max's friend and former criminal cohort.

Then: Luna's first big role was in the Alfonso Cuaron drama 'Y Tu Mama Tambien,' in which he starred with Gael Garcia Bernal. Luna and Bernal have been friends since childhood, and also starred in the Will Ferrell comedy 'Casa de Mi Padre' together.

Wagner Moura, Spider

Sony/Sony Pictures Classics

Now: Wagner Moura, star of the 'Elite Squad' films, plays Spider, the criminal boss who sends Max on his mission to Elysium.

Then: Moura made his film debut in 'Woman on Top,' followed by roles in 'The Three Marias' and the critically-acclaimed drama 'Carandiru.'

William Fichtner, John Carlyle


Now: William Fichtner, beloved eccentric character actor, plays John Carlyle, the head of the weapons and defense corporation Armadyne, where Max DeCosta works.

Then: Fichtner got his start on the daytime soap opera 'As the World Turns' before moving on to the big screen with his first notable role -- the 1995 cyber thriller 'Virtuosity.' Ever since then, Fichtner has become one of America's favorite "Hey, it's that guy!" actors.