Comic-Con 2012: ‘Elysium’ preview rocks Hall H
Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Sony presented the "Elysium" panel at Comic Con's Hall H yesterday, and what a presentation it was. Director Neill Blomkamp presented a seven-minute rough-cut sizzle reel of the gritty sci-fi flick, calling it "a window into what I'm trying to make." If what was presented is the rough cut, then hold on tight when the real thing hits the theaters in March 2013.
Blomkamp's follow up to his genre masterpiece "District 9" (2009) stars Matt Damon, Jodie Foster (both Comic Con virgins), and "District 9" favorite Sharlto Copely, who all showed up to answer questions. The film presents the world in 2142, a world of haves and have-nots, of wealth discrepancy so vast that the rich have actually moved to a giant orbiting space station, Elysium, free from the earth's over-population, pollution, and rampant disease.
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The footage starts with a majestic wide shot of Elysium, a huge wheel in space, where with no sickness, no war, and beautiful people lying in plush tanning booths that scan their bodies for any pollutants and remove the carcinogens instantaneously.
A title card indicates Elysium is a place where you're not invited. A space ship heading straight for it is shot down by a precise and intimidating missile defense system.
Next we are presented with Damon as Max, a lowly human walking the earth that has become a dingy cesspool of poverty, sickness, and very long lines. The earth appears to be the slum of the universe. (They actually filmed in Mexico City at the second largest dump in the world.)
Max is presented as a sarcastic trouble maker, trying to joke with a droid checking his papers. This turns out very bad for Max, as he is quickly downed by the overwhelming strength of the droid.
Next, Max goes to his parole officer, another droid who is capable of reading vital signs and offering relaxing pills on the spot. Max is told that his sentence has been extended. No trial by his peers, just a sentence from a machine.
Max goes back to his crappy job at the factory. An accident happens, and Max quickly finds himself with radiation poisoning. Another droid glibly gives Max five days to live.
Desperately, Max decides he has to get to Elysium where they can treat his illness. He contacts some of his former criminal underworld friends, who hatch a plan to get Max aboard a rocket ship up to Elysium. It's a bit vague, but apparently there's a billionaire (inflation ain't what it used to be) played by William Fichtner who has information in his head that the criminals desperately want, and which they plan on uploading into machinery they must attach to Max. If successful, the mission might save more than Max's life, it might save earth itself.