[UPDATE: Scroll down for additional information regarding the characters of Elysium, and the tentative release date.]
Neill Blomkamp made a splash at the box office and left an impression on moviegoers of all creeds with his feature-length directorial debut, District 9. Progress is now getting underway on his next venture in the allegorical science-fiction genre, Elysium, which will reunite Blomkamp with his D9 leading man, Sharlto Copley.
The latest addition to the film's cast is that of Elite Squad franchise star Wagner Moura, who will portray the villain of the piece. A-listers Matt Damon and Jodie Foster are also onboard for Blomkamp's new pic.
Latino Review is the source for this scoop about Moura, a Brazilian actor who's by and large an unknown here in the States. Moura jump-started his career back in 2007 by playing both the diabolical Olavo on the popular soap opera Paraíso Tropical, and Capitain Nascimento in the first Elite Squad movie.
Details concerning the general plot of Elysium are being kept mostly under wraps for now, though it's known that the film is set some 150 years in the future and takes place on a distant planet. While the budget should be larger than that of D9's $30 million, Elysium will be a relatively cheaper undertaking for Media Rights Capital - especially in comparison to price of the average Hollywood blockbuster nowadays.
Blomkamp has reportedly been working on the script and effects of Elysium since late 2009, and previously described the project as being "violent, very violent, and very unique hopefully." He's also drawn comparisons between his upcoming project and D9 in the past, saying that:
"I'm not particularly interested in massive budget films, or creating huge spectacles that some young directors might be attracted to... Hopefully, ['Elysium'] will be a bit unique, very much a reflection of me. It is absolutely another science fiction film, quite different from 'District 9' but some of the blending of genres and tones might be within the same realm."
Blade Runner visual futurist and TRON conceptual artist Syd Mead is onboard as set designer for Elysium, which is slated to begin shooting this summer. Given both the acting and filmmaking talent involved in the project, it could be one of the more intelligent and eye-catching sci-fi flicks in recent years.
UPDATE: Heat Vision says that social class plays a pivotal role in the setting of Elysium, and that Damon's character will be an ex-convict. Moura's villain will reportedly be a "powerful" figure who possesses "a crazy sense of humor."
Variety is reporting that Moura's character will be an "underground leader involved in human trafficking but a hero among his community." He certainly sounds like an intriguing, morally-ambiguous antagonist.
Both THR and Variety are claiming that Sony is eying a late 2012 theatrical release for Elysium. Coming Soon, however, is listing March 8th, 2013 as being the current official release date. Given that production is scheduled to begin in July, the late 2012 date for Elysium seems more likely at this juncture.
Stay tuned for more information about Elysium in the near future.
Source: Latino Review