By Edward Davis | The Playlist December 24, 2012 at 12:37PM
"The Joker was a mistaken reference," Sharlto Copley told Empire about his villian role in "District 9" director Neill Blomkamp's upcoming dystopian epic "Elysium." "I was really just saying that that was the last time I saw a villain that inspired me: somebody that set the bar. There’s no connection or likeness to The Joker in terms of the character. What I did with him — which I try to do with all my original characters — was draw from real life. I combined references from a very infamous South African military battalion called 32 Battalion, that fought in the Border Wars in South Africa, and a stereotype of character that you get in the south of Johannesburg, where the guys are a little bit more comfortable with violence!"
Starring Matt Damon, "Elysium" is set in the year 2159 where the very wealthy live on a man-made space station while the rest of the population resides on a ruined Earth. Damon plays a man who takes on a mission that could bring equality to the polarized worlds.
So yes, just like "District 9," and the slums of South Africa that had the aliens in the movies as second-class citizens, Blomkamp has brought another social backdrop to his latest sci-fi film. And frankly, we're all for it. The background of "District 9" gave it a heft and weight that some sci-fi films lack, so we're hoping the director thrills, but also manages to stimulate the brain and make us think a little bit too.
Due August 9, 2013, "Elysium" also stars Jodie Foster, William Fichtner, Alice Braga, Diego Luna, Talisa Soto and Michael Shanks. Empire offers a first look at Copley's character below.