Matt Damon

Aug. 06, 2013 | 11:48 a.m.

‘Elysium: The Art of the Film’ details Neill Blomkamp’s sci-fi tale

From "Elysium: The Art of the Film." Motion Picture Artwork and Photography © 2013 TriStar Pictures Inc. All rights reserved.
Neill Blomkamp’s second feature “Elysium” opens in theaters Friday, but a new book out Tuesday showcases the unique production design of the politically minded sci-fi tale. “Elysium: The Art of the Film,” written by Mark Salisbury, collects production art, photos and cast and crew commentary and includes a foreword by Blomkamp. Hero Complex readers can click through the gallery above to see a selection of images from the book. Blomkamp won a massive following with his full-length debut, 2009’s South African-set “District 9,” which earned upwards of $115 million in North America and received an Oscar nomination for best picture, and “Elysium” arrives with a great deal of fan anticipation. Set in 2154, the film stars Matt Damon as the heavily tattooed Max Da Costa, a down-on-his-luck reformed thief who embarks on a desperate mission to break into the orbiting […]
Aug. 03, 2013 | 10:00 a.m.

‘Elysium’ director Neill Blomkamp on political sci-fi: Society gets to me

Neill Blomkamp is photographed in Santa Monica on July 15, 2013. (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)
In the future-set utopia that Neill Blomkamp dreamed up for “Elysium,” the lawns are manicured and lush, the women are slim and beautiful, and everyone is very, very rich. If that sounds a lot like certain neighborhoods in Los Angeles, it’s no accident — the South Africa-born writer-director found inspiration for his fictional enclave in Bel-Air and Beverly Hills as well as wealthy sections of his home city, Johannesburg. “A lot of parts of L.A. are interchangeable with suburbs in Joburg,” Blomkamp said. “Very big, ostentatious houses with palm trees and lawns. Lawns are very important. Never underestimate lawns.” Blomkamp’s action movie, which opens Aug. 9, is about haves and have-nots in 2154, with the haves living on Elysium, a luxury habitat that orbits a ruined, overpopulated planet. Down on Earth, factory worker Max (a shaven, tattooed Matt Damon) contracts […]
Aug. 03, 2013 | 6:00 a.m.

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

Matt Damon, left, Alice Braga and Emma Tremblay in a scene from "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 […]
July 18, 2013 | 11:40 p.m.

Comic-Con offers first look at Terry Gilliam film ‘The Zero Theorem’

'The Zero Theorem' is the new film from director Terry Gilliam (left), and stars Matt Damon, Christoph Waltz and Tilda Swinton, among other actors. (Max Nash / Matt Sayles / Invision/ Associated Press)
Comic-Con audiences got the first look at the opening 10 minutes of “The Zero Theorem,” director Terry Gilliam’s mystery-shrouded science fiction film starring Christoph Waltz, Matt Damon and Tilda Swinton, in Hall H Thursday. In a panel moderated by Hero Complex’s own Gina McIntyre, Gilliam’s daughter and producer, Amy Gilliam, and producers Dean Zanuck and Zev Foreman shed a bit of light on the enigmatic movie, the director’s first feature since 2009’s “The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus.” Set in a steampunky future world with candy-colored graffiti, talking billboards, whizzing little cars and a cold-hearted bureaucracy called ManCom running the show, “The Zero Theorem” lends itself to comparisons with Gilliam’s seminal dark comedic fantasy, “Brazil.” FULL COVERAGE: San Diego Comic-Con 2013 Waltz, who appears naked, bald and hunched over a desk in the opening shots of the film, plays Qohen, an eccentric […]
June 13, 2013 | 6:22 p.m.

‘Elysium’ trailer: Matt Damon fights for his life in Blomkamp’s latest

The latest trailer for Neill Blomkamp’s anticipated sci-fi adventure “Elysium” offers a more detailed look at the “District 9″ director’s dark vision of future Earth and sheds new light on the story surrounding Matt Damon’s Max Da Costa, a man desperate to reach the titular space habitat. Set in 2154, the film takes place in a world in which the wealthy have migrated to a station in the stars run by Jodie Foster’s Secretary Delacourt. By contrast, the poor have remained on a decimated, overpopulated Earth depleted of both natural resources and hope for a better life. On the way to his job, Damon’s sarcastic reformed thief manages to find himself in trouble — his bad day includes a run-in with robot authorities and a workplace accident that leaves him terminally ill. His only hope for a cure rests in […]
April 09, 2013 | 4:11 p.m.

‘Elysium': New trailer invites you to Bloomkamp’s space paradise

Matt Damon in "Elysium." Credit: Columbia TriStar Marketing Group, Inc.
The new trailer is out for “Elysium,” Neill Blomkamp’s highly anticipated follow-up to his Oscar-nominated feature debut “District 9,” and it promises to return the filmmaker to the realm of cerebral sci-fi that won him such an ardent following. In the year 2154, the wealthy residents of Earth have relocated to the paradise of Elysium, a beautiful space station where there is no poverty, no war and no sickness — and where strict anti-immigration measures ensure that only those rich enough to pay for admittance are admitted to its pristine confines. It’s the job of Jodie Foster’s Secretary Delacourt to keep out the hoi polloi. After an unexpected turn of events leaves Matt Damon’s Earth-bound tough guy Max in a fight for his life, he agrees to attempt a risky scheme to save himself, but he finds himself targeted by […]
March 11, 2011 | 9:00 a.m.

‘X-Files’ reopened? Six new Hollywood films shine a light on sci-fi show’s legacy

Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny as Fox Mulder and Dana Scully in "The X-Files" (Fox)
Is it a conspiracy? “The X-Files” went off the air in 2002 and the spooky brand name won’t be seeing the light of day anytime soon after that forgettable feature-film revival in 2008. But here in early 2011 it feels like the truth is still out there — and we’re not just talking about the flashlights and lab coats inherited by Fox’s  “Fringe.” Hollywood has a half-dozen movies hitting theaters — all within a 42-day release window — that might be filed under X, in one way or another. Consider: “I Am Number Four” (Feb. 18): Sure, “Smallville” and “Twilight” inform the tone and character vibes of this movie, but the subplots of secret alien wars on earth, discredited conspiracy theorists and extraterrestrial abductionwere written with the basic alphabet of the old Fox series. Don’t trust us, just listen to supporting character Sam (played by […]
March 04, 2011 | 11:13 a.m.

‘Adjustment Bureau’ review: Philip K. Dick with a difference

Terence Stamp and Matt Damon in "The Adjustment Bureau" (Universal Pictures)
Los Angeles Times film critic Kenneth Turan says “The Adjustment Bureau” has a date with destiny… Once neglected, now lionized, the legendary science-fiction writer Philip K. Dick speaks more to our time than he ever did to his own. Starting with 1982’s “Blade Runner” and including “Total Recall” and “Minority Report,” close to a dozen features based on Dick’s work have generated more than $1 billion in revenue. Now “The Adjustment Bureau” is poised to add to that total. What makes Dick so appealing to our wary, distrustful state of mind is, in novelist Jonathan Lethem’s words, his “remarkably personal vision of paranoia and dislocation.” Never a great prose stylist, Dick had a visionary’s gift for mind-bending ideas about the nature of reality, a gift “Adjustment Bureau” and its notion of unseen forces stage-managing our lives embraces. This film, however, […]
March 02, 2011 | 2:07 p.m.

‘Adjustment Bureau’ director George Nolfi on his Matt Damon-led sci-fi romance: ‘It’s an unusual movie'[updated]

George Nolfi, left, with Matt Damon (Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times)
Somebody somewhere is looking out for George Nolfi. That’s the only way to explain the friction-free path of “The Adjustment Bureau,” the first-time director’s genre-bending sci-fi romance, which arrives in theaters Friday. “It’s an unusual movie, to say the least,” said Nolfi, who also wrote the screenplay. “It’s not one of those things where the studio is saying, ‘Here’s a genre you know and you’ve seen it a thousand times and it’s a sequel or the start of a franchise.’ This one is a little different.” The $62 million film, which stars Matt Damon and Emily Blunt, starts as a political thriller, slides into a crackling grown-up romance and then pivots into full-on science fiction with the emergence of the title organization — a bureaucracy of aloof sentinels who tilt world events and personal fortunes to fit a set cosmic […]
Feb. 23, 2010 | 2:43 p.m.

Matt Damon and Jake Gyllenhaal turned down ‘Avatar’

In another universe, Jason Bourne or the Prince of Persia might have been running around the jungles of Pandora. “Avatar” director James Cameron spoke to both Matt Damon and Jake Gyllenhaal  about playing the role of Jake Sully in the sci-fi epic that now stands as the biggest moneymaker in the history of Hollywood with $2.5 billion in worldwide box office. Both stars, perhaps leery of a blue-in-the-face gig, declined, and the filmmaker instead went with his first choice — unknown Aussie actor Sam Worthington, who was living in his car before he got the job. Cameron said he offered the role to the big-name stars only to placate the studio chiefs at Fox, who wanted a bankable star to offset some of the risks of the expensive project.   “I don’t think they ever had a problem with the CG, “ Cameron said. “Honestly, did I go out and […]
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