Sony Picks Up Neill Blomkamp's 'Elysium' + Plenty More New Info
The newest sci-fi project from District 9 director Neill Blomkamp titled Elysium has been in the news quite a bit recently, from casting and more casting. Well, Deadline has posted a big update with lots of new info on the project, including that Sony Pictures won the rights for distribution (expected because they were also behind D9) and that it's set 100 years in the future, but that's almost all we know. But one of the coolest little bits of news to come out of this is that Syd Mead, a designer who worked on various sci-fi classics like Blade Runner, will design the sets for Elysium. Neill has been pitching to studios this past week. Read on!
Blomkamp's Elysium, another original socio-political sci-fi written by the South Africa-born filmmaker, is set 100 years in the future. We don't know too much else about the plotline, but Deadline says Neill will start shooting it in July this year in Vancouver and then move to Mexico City. I have a feeling their setting mostly takes place around Mexico City (at least visually), with some of the effects and studio shots done in Vancouver, where Blomkamp is currently based. Syd Mead is a big name for Blomkamp to get for his second film, but he apparently joined because he liked District 9. Sony is aiming for a holiday 2012 release and it sounds like it'll have a moderate-to-tentpole sized budget, which is a step up from the $30M budget on D9.
Here's where the interesting details come in. Matt Damon, Jodie Foster and Sharlto Copley are all set to star. Sony won the rights, but Universal may be co-financing as well, and Media Rights Capitol (who also helped finance and develop D9) is working with Blomkamp on this again. Deadline also mentions that MRC has given Blomkamp a greenlight on his third feature project, currently titled Chappie (umm wait what?), that doesn't seem to have a connection with Elysium at all. But it will go into production "immediately after Blomkamp" finishes, despite not having a distributor or being a part of any of these aforementioned deals.
This is all very exciting news, to be honest, I'm anxious to write about this. I've been a big fan and supporter of Blomkamp before District 9 even hit theaters and I can't wait to see how he pushes the boundaries of the sci-fi genre again in his next feature. It sounds like he's really going all out, with plenty of extra cash and big names to help develop (but no Peter Jackson this time). We'll continue to keep you updated! Sound good?