Elysium

Elysium

Director Neill Blomkamp has, thankfully enough, not kicked any of his thematic interests while making the transition to his sophomore effort. The District 9 helmer returns to theaters later this summer with his Matt Damon-starring Elysium, another sci-fi epic that deals with the inherent evils of rigid class division and the true measure of a man modified by technology far beyond his control. Put simply – if you were into District 9, you’re going to be into Elysium.

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image_elysium sharlto copley

One of the more anticipated films hitting theaters next year is Neill Blomkamp‘s Elysium. The sci-fi epic is the director’s long-awaited (well, since 2009 anyway) follow-up to his breakout hit District 9, and it follows a similar path melding action, science fiction and social commentary. It stars Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, William Fichtner, Diego Luna, Talisa Soto and Sharlto Copley. He played the hero in District 9, but Copley’s turn here is of a far darker flavor. Empire Online has just debuted the first glimpse above of Copley in full bad guy gear, and he’s nigh unrecognizable. Elysium is set in the year 2159, and pits the oppressed people of the ruined planet Earth against the privileged elite aboard the Elysium space station. Matt Damon is ex-convict man-on-a-mission Max, fighting with the Terrans for equality, and Jodie Foster is the dastardly government official intent on enforcing anti-immigration laws and keeping Elysium for the Elysians; Kruger is her relentless attack dog.” Elysium invades theaters August 9th, 2013.

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Matt Damon in Elysium

While discussing his new film Promised Land and how boring he is, Matt Damon told Playboy (don’t click if you dislike looking at a lot of butts) about the experience of filming in a massive trash dump for Elysium and got humble about the roles he missed out on. “Having to say no to Avatar was tough because I particularly wanted to work with James Cameron, and still do, because he’s fantastic,” Damon said. “He knew he was the star of that movie and that everyone was going to go see it anyway. When he said, ‘Look, I’m offering it to you, but if you say no, the movie doesn’t need you,’ I remember thinking, Oh God, not only do I have to say no because of scheduling, but he’s going to make a star out of some guy who’s going to start taking jobs from me later.” Damon also talked about missing out on Milk and Brokeback Mountain, but ultimately concluding that Josh Brolin and Heath Ledger were the right actors for the parts because of how stellar they portrayed their respective characters.

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Rorschach at Comic-Con

Rorschach’s Journal: July 13th, 2012 I don’t sleep, not by current definitions. I lie still, lie silent, but my eyes do not close. Vigilance is the price of order. Sleep is a breeding ground for vulnerability. I tend to be grumpy in the morning. Suiting up for my second day of the maddening orgy of nerdom that is Comic-Con, I don my mended face. The tensile strength of my haphazard handiwork proves adequate. On the train, local law enforcement commence inspecting tickets. I remain calm. Costumed freaks of all ilks populate this speeding geek wagon. I should not draw much attention. My admittance is confirmed. They do not leave; maintaining uncomfortable proximity. Fists clenched, I will not go quietly. Stop reached, I am not accosted. The badged grunts turn a blind eye as I step off the train and vanish into the crowd.

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Elysium at Comic-Con

When you venture into the multiplexes anymore, one thing becomes abundantly clear: the suits are firmly in control of Hollywood. Sure, movies have been a business since practically the dawn of the medium, but lately the corporate and marketing stranglehold is so tight that the cold plastic from the action figures and the wax from the fast food drink cups can be tasted in the air by the time the first reel gets moving. So with this near insurmountable obstacle of commercial influence, any time an intelligent, well-crafted genre film sneaks through the board rooms and the  farcical focus groups is a victory for geeks like us.

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What to Expect at Comic-Con 2012

Check out a preview of what the Rejects will be up to this year at the San Diego Comic-Con, beginning with SDCC virgin Brian Salisbury… Having never been to Comic-Con, in fact having never before set foot in the state of California, I can’t help but feel a tinge of trepidation as I pack for San Diego. Chief among these concerns was whether I’d even get an adequate feel of the Con on my first outing as I darted from roundtable to roundtable, from press screening to blogger party. Would I leave my first Comic Con with no legitimate understanding of what keeps people coming back year after year? It was then I decided that, as a noob, it was best to experience the convention as a fan and not an industry professional. I needed to separate these two factions of my personality, to make a clean break from the behind-the-scenes journalism aspect and the intrepid geeks who walk the floor without the benefit of credentials. That’s when the idea of wearing a mask came into the picture, to disguise myself and resist the temptation of professional perks. I will walk the floors, stand in lines for panels in the various halls, and talk geek shop with the other attendees; providing journal entries for each day. This seems doubly fitting given the amount of cosplay that I’ve heard takes place at Comic Con. I will blend in even under fantastical vestments. So what character would I choose? What hero, outlaw, […]

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What is Movie News After Dark? After inadvertantly taking the night off last night due to a surprise viewing of the extended cut of Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (all 4 hours and 10 minutes, baby), it’s a nightly movie news and notes column and is just here to send you off to your weekend with a few fun reads. That’s exactly how many we’ve got tonight. A few. We begin the evening with a shot of a bald, robotically enhanced Matt Damon in a new shot from Neill Blomkamp’s Elysium. For a movie being made with such a low profile, that sure is a big image. A Chem-rail gun (I don’t know what that is, but it sounds fun) and some exoskeletal goodness. Plus, Damon is looking quite militant. Here’s hoping we get more of this one at Comic-Con next week.

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From the looks of it Django Unchained, Pacific Rim and Anything Marvel Does Forever are topping the list of the most anticipated movies hitting Comic-Con 2012. The question is, with 400 million (number estimated) other movie panels showing up in San Diego, how will you possibly see everything? And how can you see anything if you aren’t going to be there? Since the list of events is massive, we’ve teamed up with 14 other movie websites to make sure that every inch of the convention center is locked down. Consider this your portal, bookmark it, and return often to check out the full spectrum of coverage from ours and other fine sites. To get started, here’s a small look at what all of us are most excited to see.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a vicious diatribe away from being a vicious diatribe. But mostly it tells you the who, what, where, when and why so serious of the movie world. We begin tonight with a cry for help, from a Mother of Dragons who is without the latter half of her title. Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen needs your help. If you see her dragons, send a raven.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news round-up that comes from the land of the ice and snow, from the midnight sun where the hot springs blow. A-ah-ahh-ah! When it first hit the web, the consensus was that this red-band trailer for David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was nothing more than an illegal leak of someone video taping in a European theater. But since then, after some inspection, speculation and hearsay, it’s now believed to be a strategic leak in accordance with the styles of Lisbeth Salander. That could be the case. Lending credence to that theory is the fact that the audio is pretty clean, there’s an MPAA warning on the trailer (which was supposedly recorded in Europe) and days later, Sony has not taken it down. Either way, it’s a wicked trailer. If it’s a plant by Sony, it’s a brilliant maneuver.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly column about movie news. It will not try to sew your face to someone else’s butt. It will, however, make your hind quarters sore. So give yourself over to it — it will be gentle, at first. Fox’s upcoming Planet of the Apes prequel, previously titled Rise of the Apes, has been retitled to give it that ole’ familiar ring. It will now be called Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which should hold until they can figure out a less concise way to title it. Either way, it’s got James Franco, so I’m seeing it.

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It’s always difficult to figure out how a studio will factor into the filmmaking process, but considering how well the partnership between Sony and Neill Blomkamp for District 9 turned out, this seems like a match made in Joburg. According to Deadline Rustenburg, Sony will distribute Blomkamp’s forthcoming film Elysium – starring Matth Damon and Jodie Foster – to the entire planet. It’s a huge science- fiction endeavor that just recently got Blade Runner and Tron effects legend Syd Mead to sign on as well. The production is shooting for a late 2012 release. On top of that, Media Rights Capital has worked out a deal with Blomkamp for another movie, called Cappie (an original script), which will begin pre-production as soon as he’s done with Elysium. We’ll be keeping an eye out for plot details on it as they come out. Busy, busy, busy. Just the way fans like it. Sadly, the collateral damage here is that District 10 may never exist or it might be until 2014 before we get a chance to see it.

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What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s newest late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this shit late at night, what do you expect?

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As we all know, Elysium was the section of the underworld reserved for the heroes and ethically near-perfect. What that has to do with Neill Blomkamp’s latest science fiction outing, Elysium, is anyone’s guess, but now the film has 100% more Jodie Foster in it. She’ll be working alongside Blomkamp’s go-to for District 9 Sharlto Copley and Matt Damon (how dya like them apples?). Plus, Blomkamp has described the film before as being “very violent” which is something to look forward to. Hopefully no one steals Foster’s child and makes her angry. You wouldn’t like her when she’s angry. [Deadline Muncy]

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We don’t make a habit of covering unofficial casting announcements because they invariably end up changing shortly thereafter, but we make exceptions when the talent involved make us tingle. Such is the case with this latest bit of news involving Matt Damon and District 9 director, Neill Blomkamp. Deadline Pogo is reporting that Damon is in negotiations to star in Blomkamp’s upcoming film Elysium. Sharlto Copley has previously been announced to star in the science fiction film that has so far seen plot details kept under wraps. Copley of course starred in Blomkamp’s surprise hit debut as well as The A-Team. If it happens this would only be Damon’s second foray into live action science fiction. This March sees the release of The Adjustment Bureau co-starring Emily Blunt. The film is based on a Philip K. Dick story, and while it’s been delayed already more than once it remains one we’re very much looking forward to. Here’s hoping these two talents can converge to make something even more exciting and thought provoking than District 9.

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Just last night on a whiskey-bent episode of Reject Radio, I was re-lamenting that Neill Blomkamp hadn’t gotten back on the directing horse again despite the serious acclaim of District 9 and the hot iron that was inevitably cooling. Fortunately, he’s struck, and is currently taking meetings to find a distributor for Elysium. He’s already got a star in Sharlto Copley who has done the hard work of regenerating a human arm. Beyond the familiar pairing, Blomkamp is tackling the subject of aliens again, although this time it’s in the far future on a planet other than Earth. The political commentary is also promised to make a return. It’s good to know that the director is working on fresh material, sticking in the sci-fi world, and using his popularity (and box office results) before it wanes. Hopefully the days of intelligent, action-filled science fiction are here to stay. [Deadline Daytona]

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Neil Blomkamp

What a relief. Only days ago I wrote a (somewhat) nasty little piece about why Neill Blomkamp should keep more than a ten-foot pole between himself and The Hobbit. And now it appears as if all the anxiety was for not. It’s now being reported that the District 9 director will not be taking a four year trip to the Shire. Consider this writer relieved.

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