Only a small number of people have been fortunate enough to see preview footage of Neil Blomkamp’s sophomore effort, Elysium, and they were all in Hall H at Comic-Con 2012. Since then, Sony has only offered a few consolatory early glimpses of Elysium here and there (an excellent first image of Sharlto Copley as one of the film’s heavies, for instance) as well as a full synopsis, but nothing else of real substance until yesterday.

According an announcement made by the studio, fans in New York, LA, Berlin, and Sao Paolo will have the opportunity to see a sneak peek of the film early this month- that is, if they can get an appointment.

Movie Viral reports that on Monday, Sony launched a website called Welcome to Elysium, the third piece of viral marketing they’ve offered for the movie since 2011; a site for Armadyne went live at 2011’s own Comic Con festivities, while last year saw the introduction of It’s Better Up There. Both of them are aimed at world-building- the former serves to educate audiences on the company responsible for creating the titular space station on which  Elysium takes place (as well as the other fields of industry it dabbles in), while the latter tested you to see if you qualified as a viable candidate for life on Elysium before being turned into a home page for the film.

But in addition to further details about Elysium, the newest website gives audiences in one of the four aforementioned cities a chance to sign up for “live demos of Elysium” on April 8th. That’s not all, though – Gofobo, the event host, asserts that Blomkamp himself will be in attendance at the LA screening with Sharlto Copley, and Matt Damon will tune in via satellite. As of now, that screening is the only one not at capacity, but it’s hard to imagine that lasting much longer given the excitement building for the project.

For those unaware, here’s the official plot summary:

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.

If you’re unable to make it to any of the four screenings (which probably describes most of us), you can console yourself by surfing the Welcome to Elysium page as well as the Armadyne page, which both contain an enormous amount of information that teases out story details and background. (Welcome to Elysium is a bit scant, but the bios for Jodie Foster’s and Faran Tahir’s characters are worth it. Armadyne’s page is a far superior time-waster; check out the “Our Products” area in particular.)

In the meantime, start getting excited, because this very likely means that early reactions to the footage will start coming in as soon as next week. Note that Blomkamp isn’t screening Elysium in full – the Gofobo page says as much outright – but now’s a great time for him and Sony to start generating some real hype.

For good reason, too. Blomkamp’s first feature length film, District 9, proved to be one of 2009’s hallmark entries (you can read Screen Rant’s review here); with a far bigger budget and the acting talents of Damon, Foster, and Copley (who played District 9‘s protagonist) – not to mention supporting players like William Fichtner and Diego Luna – it’s going to be exciting to see what the Peter Jackson protege does in his second outing. No wonder Elysium is SR’s 8th most anticipated 2013 release.

We’ll keep you up to date on anything and everything Elysium-related as the screenings get underway.

Elysium arrives in theaters on August 9th, 2013.

Source: Movie Viral