‘Elysium’: 33 photos from Neill Blomkamp’s Matt Damon, Jodie Foster film

Aug. 03, 2013 | 6:00 a.m.

Matt Damon, left, Alice Braga and Emma Tremblay in a scene from "Elysium." (Columbia TriStar Pictures)

Alice Braga, left, Emma Tremblay and Josh Blacker in a scene from "Elysium." (Kimberley French / TriStar Pictures)

Brandon Auret, left, Sharlto Copley and Josh Blacker in a scene from "Elysium." (Columbia TriStar Pictures)

Diego Luna, left, Matt Damon and Wagner Moura in a scene from "Elysium." (Kimberley French / Columbia TriStar Pictures)

Matt Damon, left, and Sharlto Copley in a scene from "Elysium." (Stephanie Blomkamp / TriStar Pictures)

Director Neill Blomkamp, left, and Jose Pablo Cantillo in Mexico City on the set of "Elysium." (Columbia TriStar Pictures)

Sharlto Copley, left, and director Neill Blomkamp on the set of "Elysium." (Columbia TriStar Pictures)

Director Neill Blomkamp, left, and Matt Damon on the set of "Elysium." (Columbia TriStar Pictures)

Director Neill Blomkamp, left, and Matt Damon in Mexico City on the set of "Elysium." (Columbia TriStar Pictures)

“Elysium,” Neill’s Bloomkamp’s new politically minded sci-fi thriller, opens Friday, marking the second film from the talented South African writer-director who won an ardent following with his groundbreaking, Oscar-nominated debut, “District 9.”

The story, set in the year 2154, sees Earth ravaged by drought and poverty; the wealthy have abandoned the planet for a blissful life on a beautiful space station called Elysium, a paradise where any illness can be cured and interlopers are kept out at extreme cost.

After a workplace accident leaves him facing death, Matt Damon’s troubled, tattooed Max Da Costa finds himself in desperate need to reach Elysium and willing to embark on a wild scheme in order to save his own life. But his plans bring him into direct conflict with Jodie Foster’s officious Secretary Delacourt and a black-ops thug known as Kruger, played by “District 9” star Sharlto Copley.

To capture the two contrasting landscapes, “Elysium” shot both on the poor outskirts of Mexico City and in Vancouver, which hosted the lush, luxe sequences. In a 2012 interview with Hero Complex, Blomkamp said he was taken with “the idea of this habitat in space being a metaphor for rich and poor, thinking about haves and haves nots.”

He said he designed the space station — a 125-kilometer sphere — to be scientifically plausible.

“It’s like an inner tube of a tire,” Blomkamp said. “Civilization lives on the inner side. It’s a real, scientific thing that could theoretically be built. It would just take a hell of a lot of money.”

Early reviews have praised the new film, though most critics acknowledge that Bloomkamp has a challenge in matching the uniform excellence of something like “District 9.”

Variety’s Scott Foundas wrote, “Blomkamp delivers a less dazzling but nonetheless highly absorbing and intelligent, socially conscious bit of futurism, made on a much larger scale than its $30-million predecessor, but with lots of the same scrappy ingenuity.

Screen International said “Elysium” “is best appreciated as an intense, brawny, effects-heavy spectacle that benefits from Matt Damon’s sympathetic performance. Unfortunately, the film’s higher aspirations — dramatic grandeur, political commentary — never come across as anything less than heavy-handed.”

Check out the gallery above for a peek at the film.

– Gina McIntyre and Rebecca Keegan | @LATHeroComplex


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2 Responses to ‘Elysium’: 33 photos from Neill Blomkamp’s Matt Damon, Jodie Foster film

  1. Patricia says:

    My daughter and I went to see The Wolverine last night, which rocked! Hugh Jackman is truly awesome in this flick. But beforehand, naturally, the trailer for Elysium came on and I thought if anyone could pull this off it would be Matt Damon. I understand Eminem was offered the lead role and no doubt, he would have been great, but I'm glad that Matt Damon accepted the role. When Matt assumed the role of Jason Bourne in The Bourne Identity I had thought wow, this guy is incredible! Now there's COOL like Clint Eastwood and and then there's Charles Bronson COOL, who, as far as I'm concerned, was the coolest dude of them all. Well, Matt Damon is, indeed, Charles Bronson COOL. His icy gaze–get out of my way, I'm coming through attitude and expression, his movement, and timing were excellent! He was born (pun intended) to play Jason Bourne, hands-down. I would even go so far as to write that if we had had an American James Bond, he would have be IT! So in essence I think he'll be amazing in Elysium. I love intelligent, sci-fi stories that are action-packed and full of adventure and intrigue. I already liked what I saw in the trailer; and even if the critics blast this flick, it won't matter to me because I know one thing, Matt Damon will shine no matter what.

  2. Mark Alvarez says:

    Just wondering,why the low profile of Jodie Foster? She has been around for so long,it feels as if because she is older and a woman,she has to take a back seat to the credit of this film. Both she and Matt have had some tanker films recently so the premise of the ever macho tough guy is promoted yet again in another sci fi flick.Crash,bang ,shoot um up cowboy! It would have been the right thing to do to have Jodi and Matt promoted as a side by side team effort for this movie instead of another Matt Damon gig. Kind of thinking the promoters are leery of promoting a movie with Jodie Foster,like she's the kiss of death. Give her a break,after all,she did come up with the best speech out of anyone so far this year at an awards show. If this film succeeds or not ,Let her ride the acknowledgement credit wave as well,you sexist cowards!

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