By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist June 9, 2011 at 12:20PM
Since the moment we walked out of "District 9," buzzing with the energy and invention of the picture, we, like you, have been keenly awaiting more work from South African director Neill Blomkamp. And after a heap of speculation -- the Blomkamp directing "The Hobbit" rumor must have raised its head a good half-dozen times -- the helmer's follow-up was finally announced at the end of last year as the mysterious sci-fi project "Elysium."
Word on the premise is still pretty much under wraps, but Blomkamp, backed by Sony, has assembled quite a cast for the big-budget picture: not only is "District 9" star Sharlto Copley returning, but A-listers Matt Damon and Jodie Foster are both on board along with William Fichtner, "Elite Squad" star Wagner Moura and "City of God"'s Alice Braga, while "Blade Runner" concept designer Syd Mead is also working on the project. And now, word of one more international star who looks likely to crop up in the film has broken.
Variety report that Diego Luna, star of the classic "Y Tu Mamá También" as well as "The Terminal," "Milk" and the upcoming "Casa De Mi Padre," is in negotiations to join the project. If he signs on, Luna would play Julio, the best friend of Damon's character, supposedly an ex-convict. The project again blends science fiction and social commentary, with Foster apparently playing the leader of an alien planet and Moura as the villain of the piece.
The specifics, however, are still up in the air. Variety describe the project as revolving around "aliens and humans doing battle on Earth," but producer Simon Kinberg recently told io9 that "It's a very different movie than anything you've ever seen before. It's not necessarily an alien movie." Kinberg went on to say "Visually, stylistically it's actually very different than 'District 9'... I literally will be murdered in my sleep if I tell you too much more. It's a unique movie. It's unlike anything I've ever seen before."
He also emphasized that the film will maintain the conscience of Blomkamp's earlier work: it won't be an empty, "Battle: Los Angeles"-style picture. "I can't tell you what the big themes are, but I can tell you that there are big themes. He's someone who's really interested in the world. He's not a filmmaker who's only interested in other movies. He's somebody who's interested in the politics of the world, the reality of the world. Whatever kind of movie he makes in whatever genre, it's never simply going to be a synthetic movie about the movies he liked growing up. It's always going to be about something bigger, and this movie is too."
Things are shaping beautifully here: Luna's only the latest strong addition to a terrific cast, and with filming set to get underway later in the summer, the only problem is that at present, we're going to have to wait until March 1st, 2013 to see the damn thing.