The biggest buzz out of Comic Con, so far, seems to be coming from the Elysium footage that was shown in Hall H. Coincidentally this is the one panel our 3 correspondents couldn’t make. Figures.

Admittedly, Elysium has been off my nerdy radar. I had seen a few goofy pics online of actor Matt Damon holding an alien gun w/ some bizarre arm contraption, but that’s about it. Up until today, I didn’t know a damn thing about it. After reading about the seven-minute reel shown at SDCC yesterday, the film has jumped up on my list of movies I’m most looking forward to.

Elysium is a new sci-fi film from Neill Blomkamp, who exploded onto the film scene with District 9. Blomkamp, along with stars Matt Damon, Sharlto Cospley and Jodi Foster set up camp at Hall H and blew some minds.

Blomkamp introduced a seven-minute reel, cautioning it was  “incredibly rough,” and saying that there’s a sales aspect to the shilling of a film that he is uncomfortable with, making him wary of showing off footage to other people. But, he was OK with showing something at Comic-Con because, “it’s a true, honest thing. There’s no lies about it. It’s completely about want to seeing cool footage.”

Gotta love directors who downplay raw footage. It lowers the expectation. Playing coy certainly worked, because, as word would have it, the footage  previewed was eye-gasm worthy.

The reel showed a world that is overpopulated with the wealthy living in a space station orbiting the planet. The character played by Matt Damon, a steel worker living in slums, needs to get to the station, but in order to do that, must kidnap an Earthbound resident. Chases and action featuring robots ensue, as well as mechanical enhancement and Sharlto Copley as a villain.

Post viewing, Blomkamp and crew talked about the film (obviously). Being that we don’t have a first hand account (again, we weren’t there) I can only recoup very little of what was said. The following quotes come from our friends at The Hollywood Reporter

“It was in such incredible detail. So arresting. And there was a whole corresponding book on weaponry and a whole book on vehicles,” said Damon.

Blomkamp also discussed the movies origins, saying it came from “an idea of a space station. In the film, the wealth was taken and separated from Earth, leaving an impoverished planet behind it.”

At one point, they shot in the second largest garbage dump in the world — with dust storms kicking up fecal matter. Blomkamp was forced to wear breaking masks; the actors… well, they were forced to endure.

Damon recalled how he and Copley shot their fight scenes. “We would be black with dust. And we would look at each other and say, ‘This is fecal matter,’” he said. “And Neill would come over, take off his maks, and say, ‘I promise you, the photography looks great!’”

For a more detailed recap of what went down at the Elysium panel, check out Cinemablend’s live-blog.



Category: Film

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