Ever since San Diego Comic Con – make that, ever since the end credits of District 9 rolled – anticipation for Neill Blomkamp’s follow-up has been building, especially after the release date was moved from March to August. Now, after the sneak preview sizzle reel shown at Comic Con and Monday’s special panel in LA, a trailer has been released online. An epic one at that – starring a bearded Sharlto Copley, and soon-to-be my new hero, Matt Damon, who plays an everyman for Occupy Wall Street’s 99 percent, if you will, in Neill’s meticulously-created alternative world.
Neill has created a universe where the rich and poor are totally separated. Matt plays Max, a factory who suffers a deadly jolt of radiation and tries to break into the space station Elysium to find a cure, where the have-nots are housed – in luxury and free of disease. The South African-born, Canadian-bred director explained a little more about the world he’s created last year at Comic Con: “[The inspiration] was a combination of being a massive science-fiction fan, and I generally have a lot of ideas, I think, because there are parts of the real world and society that interest me and then I start applying the science-fiction filter.”
He went on to add: “If you went to a third-world country now, that’s what all of Earth is like. So it’s like the bad parts of [any] country; the bad parts of Cuba, the bad parts of Haiti, the bad parts of South Africa. It’s like all of the wealth got pulled out – all of the structure and the first-world elements imploded because they were pulled off onto a space station, so you’re left with a lot of people slightly desperate and things don’t really work.”
And with that, we wait, for more scenes and more plot details – teasing it all out until August arrives, and we can visit this so-called paradise known as Elysium for ourselves.