First Synopsis for ‘District 9′ Director Neil Blomkamp’s ‘Elysium’

Published 3 years ago by , Updated September 18th, 2012 at 8:57 am,

Anticipation is high for filmmaker Neill Blomkamp’s followup to his breakout hit District 9, which is another sci-fi project titled Elysium. However, save for a handful of set photos – revealing Matt Damon with a shaved head, bloodied clothing, and unidentified futuristic body equipment – there hasn’t been any news of substance to report since Blomkmap began shooting his sophomore feature.

Prior to now, virtually nothing in the way of concrete information has been revealed about the storyline for Elysium, other than what little can be gleaned from the titular reference to the Elysian Fields from Greek mythology (a final resting place for noble souls). A newly-unveiled synopsis sheds light on how that story ties into the film’s central narrative, on a literal and figurative level (a la Prometheus).

The first preview audience screening has been held for Elysium, and invitations to said event (made available online thanks to Collider) include an encompassing, NON-SPOILER summary of the film’s plot (you can read it below):

In the year 2159, two classes of people exist: the very wealthy who live on a pristine man-made space station called Elysium, and the rest, who live on an overpopulated, ruined Earth. Secretary Rhodes (Jodie Foster), a hard line government official, will stop at nothing to enforce anti-immigration laws and preserve the luxurious lifestyle of the citizens of Elysium. That doesn’t stop the people of Earth from trying to get in, by any means they can. When unlucky Max (Matt Damon) is backed into a corner, he agrees to take on a daunting mission that, if successful, will not only save his life, but could bring equality to these polarized worlds.

Previous (unconfirmed) reports indicated that Damon’s character is an ex-convict, which has prompted speculation about what the aforementioned body suit could be. One of the popular theories (among others) pegs the mechanical appendage as a life-supporting item, thus making Max (by definition) a cyborg; that could set the stage for Blomkamp’s film to explore the increasingly prevalent role technology plays in our everyday lives (similar to the impending RoboCop remake). Bear in mind, though, that guess could also be WAY off base.

District 9 sequel Sharlto Copley First Synopsis for District 9 Director Neil Blomkamps Elysium

Sharlto Copley in 'District 9'

Moving past that – Elysium appears to offer a mix of gruesome violence, thrills, and sci-fi allegory along the lines of District 9. The logline alludes to a storyline that addresses timely issues of social upheaval and class warfare, which are currently all the rage in both movies (The Hunger Games, Dark Knight Rises) and on television (Legend of Korra). It also suggests a place for the “antagonist” being portrayed by Wagner Moura, who’s previously been described as a divisive, but charismatic figure involved with human trafficking (possibly, into Elysium).

Supporting roles in Elysium will be filled out by people like District 9 star Sharlto Copley, Alice Braga (Predators), Diego Luna (Y Tu Mamá También), William Fichtner (Prison Break), Carly Pope (Outlaw), Michael Shanks (Stargate SG-1) and Talisa Soto (Mortal Kombat). The diversity of that roster – in combination with the Elysium synopsis, indicates that issues of xenophobia and contemporary racism should also be touched on (as they were in D9).

Overall, there appears to be reason enough for fans of cerebral sci-fi to mark their calendars for March 1st, 2013, which is when Elysium begins its theatrical release in the U.S. Naturally, we’ll continue to keep you up-to-date on the project’s status in the meantime.


Source: Collider

Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. Sounds distinctively average plot wise.

    • i respectfully disagree. with all of the reboot/remakes/sequels/prequels these days i’m quite excited for an original story.

      • agreed. n

    • Sounds like the basic premise of ‘The Cloud Minders’ to me, but I can find a little Trek in almost anything. ;)

      • I thought the very same thing. Overall, I wasn’t impressed with the movie. District 9 was a better movie.

  2. As a sci-fi fan (and a South African), I’m ashamed to say I didn’t really like District 9 that much. The story was sound, but the execution (especially the cinematography) wasn’t that great for me.
    I’d still give District 9 a 3 out of 5, but hopefully this one will be a bit better…

    • There were some rather glaring holes in the plot in District 9. I thought it was ok but wasn’t really all that impressed.

      Elysium sounds like it will be up the same alley.

    • The 1st time I watched District 9 I wasn’t to big of a fan either. I think it was because I didn’t see it until it hit DVD and bye then it was hyped up so much that I think it was impossible to live up to it IMO.
      But after a 2nd viewing I enjoyed and appreciated it more and it’s now in my collection.
      That happens a lot though. I’ll wait to see something and it will be so hyped up bye then that it’s impossible to live up but it’s usually comedies.

  3. There is certainly a lot of anticipation with this movie, and a lot of people will want to see if he can follow up District 9 with what is obviously a much larger project both budget-wise and profile-wise. Compared to other directors who have had a big first film, he’s taken longer than normal it seems to come out with the second one. Hopefully the time spent will be worth it. Blomkamp’s name had been attached (either in reality or from fan speculation) to numerous films, so one hopes Elysium is the right choice for him. He appears to have a vision and a style of his own, and I hope we get to see him show it off in many future films.

  4. The storyline seems very similar to Battle Angel Alitts to me for some reason.

    • *Alita sorry for the typo.

  5. Samurai Sword Strapped on the back, looks like it’s going to be just as violent as D9. Can’t wait for this movie.

    Seriously though D9 wasn’t the greatest Sci-fi, but man, it was a breath of fresh air.

    I can’t wait for the match up: Duncan Jones v Neil Bloomkamp

  6. am I interpreting the synopsis correctly, and Jodie Foster will be basically playing a bad guy? if so, well THAT is something I want to see!

  7. Is it crazy that William Fichtner’s involvement gets me more excited than almost any other aspect of this?

  8. Whether or not you thought District 9 was actually a good movie or not, there are many things that Blomkamp can be credited with. He directed an original movie based off of his own self-financed short posted to the Internet (which was influential and innovative given all the other aspiring filmmakers who started using the same thing to get noticed), with a very low budget, with no stars, in a country not known for producing international films. It was indeed a breath of fresh air, something that seemed different and inviting from the first few seconds of the film. Sure, he got a lot of help from Peter Jackson and WETA, but he made his own movie.

    • Agreed. I personally enjoyed District 9 (enough to own the blu-ray) and look forward to this one.

  9. I have no doubt in my mind that this film in the final version will be far more impressive then this synopsis suggests. District 9 had an under whelming “spoiler free synopsis” as well.

  10. I thought Elysium was the name of the doomed ship in Pandorum…would love to get a sequel to that movie….great concept, unexpected ending.

  11. This Kid got the Elysium Screening plus already saw the movie.

  12. Does this have anything to do with the planned prequel to “Pandorum”? I mean, there was a space station also called “Elysium”.

  13. When I first started watching District 9 on DVD, I was disappointed…I thought the main protagonist was a bad actor and that the film was a blatant metaphor for racial tensions in South Africa and other places. But…I’m so glad I stayed with it, because somewhere along the line it hooked me but good. I came to realize the genius (and good luck) of using a first-time actor because he embodied the character of a confused, unqualified pawn (haaa and later, prawn). The transition of the character, physically and emotionally was gripping and when he chose to go over to the other side, I was with him 100%. Follow-up films are always a worry. I have great faith in the director, however, and expect his integrity to show on the screen…Elysium…yes.

  14. I think the last line meant to say August ? instead of March?

  15. come and join the Elysium forum!

  16. District 9 may not have had the best camera shots, editing and that but nobody is talking the story line. The purpose of District 9 was to expose the south African government. What I want to know is Elysium doing the same thing? I really want some feedback. Seems to me that there is going to be many similarities between this movie and life today. For example the rich and wealthy run this world and get everything and the poor are left to suffer. illuminate ?