What Exactly Do We Know about Neill Blomkamp’s ‘District 9’ Follow-up, ‘Elysium’?

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I feel like we haven’t offered a thorough update on Elysium for a while, so here we go. First up is a bit of casting news for writer-director Neill Blomkamp’s follow-up to District 9, as Deadline‘s Nikki Finke has confirmed the addition of Brazilian actress Alice Braga (I Am Legend, Predators) in an undisclosed role. I’d put money on her playing some sort of soldier, given that she has turned into an alt-Michelle Rodriguez of late and Rodriguez played just that in Battle: Los Angeles and Avatar. Braga joins a cast that already includes Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley, William Fichtner and fellow Brazilian Wagner Moura (Elite Squad).

Moving along, British Columbia’s CTV revealed that the film will shoot in Vancouver from July 25 to September 27. Also thanks to CTV, we can also add a few minor plot details to what little is known so far. Here’s everything we now know:

  • The film will take place 100 years in the future.
  • IMDb‘s official plot summary: “Aliens come to earth to do battle with mankind so they find peace on earth and live like human beings.”
  • Like District 9, the film will feature a sociopolitical allegory
  • It’s going to be rated R.
  • The legendary Syd Mead (Blade Runner) will design the sets.
  • While it was previously noted that Moura’s character will be the film’s villain, CTV reports Jodie Foster will play the head of an alien planet.

So, does this mean the aliens will again be the victims with Moura playing the part of a villainous human? I’ve already examined the influx of Avatar-inspired sci-fi projects to receive the green light over the past year, but the similarities here could be uncanny. And do we really need another one-dimensional heelish Stephen Lang-esque military villain? I realize I’m purely speculating here, but half of the fun of pre-production news lies in the speculation anyway, right?

Back to things we do know, the film recently moved its release date up one week to March 1, 2013 after the announcement that Oz: The Great and Powerful will bow on the 8th. I wouldn’t say Elysium and Oz have the same target demographic, though I suppose it helps to have as little competition as possible. It’s difficult enough to conjure up that desired “event movie” buzz in the month of March.