The Hollywood "bigger is better" mentality was taken down a peg or two when District 9 grossed more than seven times its $30 million budget and snagged a Best Picture nod last year. Now the director/actor team behind that pic are joining forces again for a new project titled Elysium.
Filmmaker Neil Blomkamp will receive backing from Media Rights Capital on Elysium, a thought-provoking sci-fi drama/action-driven flick that will star his District 9 leading man, Sharlto Copley.
In Greek mythology, Elysium (a.k.a. The Elysian Fields) refers to a portion of the underworld reserved for the blessed - a Utopia of sorts for those who have passed on. We reported on this film while it was still in the planning stages, and now we can confirm that Elysium will be set in the distant future on a planet other than Earth and (according to Deadline) will address a number of social/political issues while also working as a more straightforward Hollywood blockbuster, in a manner similar to District 9 (no surprise there).
Blomkamp is currently on the lookout for a distributor and has reportedly developed a graphic novel version of Elysium, as a means of making the project more sellable. It's the same tactic the filmmaker employed for District 9, so (as the saying goes) if it ain't broke...
Sony Picture still wants a District 9 sequel and with good reason - the original film reaped a nice profit; was enthusiastically received by professional film critics and casual moviegoers alike; and perhaps most importantly, the project demonstrated that an action pic full of CGI and explosions does not require a budget of at least $100 million (or name actors, even) in order to look like a professional studio production.
While Blomkamp and Copley's new collaboration will be laden with the sort of expectations that their Apartheid allegory/alien flick was bereft of, Elysium looks to join the ranks of Andrew Niccol's Now as another upcoming sci-fi venture that could both respect moviegoers' intelligence and offer them a few hours of solid entertainment at the same time.
What do you think of Elysium? Do you want to see a District 9 sequel as well?