[UPDATE: We’ve Added Some New Photos to the Gallery!]

Hardcore geeks and cinephiles have been waiting a long time to see the follow up project from District 9 director Neil Blomkamp – and with the debut of the trailer for Elysium, Blomkamp’s sophomore effort certainly left an impression on those who watched it (especially those of us who were able to see extended footage from the film).

For those not yet in the know: Elysium tells the story of a future in which Earth has become a wasteland ghetto planet inhabited by the lower classes – while the upper classes reside in the pristine orbital colony known as “Elysium.” After a life-threatening accident, Max De Costa (Matt Damon) embarks on a scheme to use sophisticated exoskeleton technology to break into Elysium, seeking treatment for his terminal condition. Only, things aren’t quite what they seem – and Max soon finds himself in a situation he never bargained for.

Check out the Elysium hi-res images in our gallery below. Some will be familiar to you (only now in hi-res) while others you may not have seen before:

If you the trailer or photos leave you with a feeling that Blomkamp is “copying off of Halo” (as has been stated numerous times), let us just remind you that A) Blomkamp’s new film is almost a companion piece to District 9 in terms of both look and overal aesthetic (i.e., his signature style), and B) Blomkamp was supposed to direct the Halo movie back in the late 2000s. However, since the Halo job came along before Blomkamp’s breakout debut with District 9, Fox and Universal didn’t yet have faith in his abilities. Elysium will surely make them regret that decision.

Comparisons aside, the film looks like yet another fine example of Blomkamp’s ability to marry epic sci-fi imagination with a very grounded and insightful social commentary story. It also further evidences that the South African filmmaker is at the forefront when it comes to designing and rendering visual effects. For genere fans, this is no doubt one of the most anticipated films of summer 2013.

The film also stars Jodie Foster as Secretary Rhodes, head official on Elysium; District 9 star Sharlto Copley (in facial prosthetics) as “Kruger,” Rhodes’ chief enforcer on earth who attempts to track down and stop Max ; Alice Braga as a friend/love interest of Max’s from childhood, and William Fitchner as a high-ranking Elysium V.I.P.

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Elysium will be in theaters on August 9, 2013.

Source: Sony

Update Source: Cinema Teaser via The Playlist