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Elysium footage stuns at Comic-Con


Story by Jack Foley

FIRST-look footage from Neill Blomkamp’s closely guarded sci-fi movie Elysium has debuted at Comic-Con in San Diego and wowed the crowds.

Blomkamp’s follow-up movie to his stunning breakthrough District 9 stars Matt Damon and Sharlto Copley and is set in a dystopian future in which the world that is over-populated and the wealthy live in a space station orbiting the planet.

Damon plays a steel worker living in slums who needs to get to the station, but who must kidnap an Earthbound resident to do so. Copley is a villain.

Unveiling seven minutes of footage at Comic-Con, director Blomkamp warned that it was ‘incredibly rough’ and admitted to feeling slightly wary of doing so.

But paying tribute to the ethos behind Comic-Con and the honesty of the many fans who assemble year on year, he said “it’s a true, honest thing… there’s no lies about it”.

“It’s completely about want to seeing cool footage,” he said.

The Hollywood Reporter was among those who saw the footage and they described it as easily the most impressive thing to debut at Comic-Con so far this year.

It showed chases, robots, plenty of action, and a world that didn’t look too dissimilar to that featured in District 9.

The crowd were then treated to appearances from Damon, Copley and Jodi Foster, who took to the stage with producer Simon Kinberg to offer some more insights.

Revealing what appealed to him about joining the ambitious project, Damon told fans how Blomkamp had first unveiled his vision via a graphic novel on his computer that outlined a very intricate story and world.

“It was in such incredible detail. So arresting. And there was a whole corresponding book on weaponry and a whole book on vehicles,” he said.

Blomkamp also spoke of the film’s origins and “an idea of a space station”.

“In the film, the wealth was taken and separated from Earth, leaving an impoverished planet behind it,” he said.

And while there is an element of CGI involved in the shoot, the director was keen to keep things as realistic as possible during the challenging shooting process, including filming in the second largest garbage dump in the world at one point and having to endure dust storms that kicked up fecal matter.

The buzz from Comic-Con post-footage, however, was that the effort looks worth it. Blomkamp could well have another sci-fi classic on his hands.

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