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Watch: First Trailer For 'Elysium' Starring Matt Damon Is Explosive & Ambitious

by Kevin Jagernauth
April 9, 2013 6:54 PM
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In case you haven't been on the internet in the past 24 hours, Sony has broken open the doors on Neill Blomkamp's until now secretive sci-fi "Elysium." Press got a dose of ten minutes of footage yesterday (read our breakdown right here), along with the trailer you're about to see below. And even more, Blomkamp talked up the movie, his desire for "Aliens"-style slime and eggs in his next movie and his thoughts on "Halo" and taking on pre-existing franchises already.  

Okay, now it's time for the big show, and "Elysium" is here. What you need to know: It stars Matt Damon as Max de Costa, one of the 99%, a down on his luck ex-con looking to go straight on a ravaged and scarred Earth in the year 2154. Up above in outer space, the 1% live on the pristine ship Elysium with all the latest comforts and cures. However, when a workplace accidence leaves him with cancer and five days to live, Max goes sorta cyborg with some help from Wagner Moura and embarks on a mission to Elysium, where cancer-curing procedures could very well save his life. But first he'll have to get past Sharlto Copley, the nasty agent hired by the government to keep guys like Max out (and he apparently gives a helluva performance).

So yes, it's hella ambitious, with lots of real world issues being played upon. But does it work as a popcorn spectacle? It sure looks like it and if you're wondering who helped with all the futuristic design, it was none other than "Blade Runner" designer Syd Mead.

Co-starring Carly Pope, Diego Luna and Alice Braga, "Elysium" launches on August 9th.

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  • BEF | April 10, 2013 4:35 PMReply

    This movie has nothing to do with Nolan.

    Nolan has made one sci-fi movie.

    Who gave Nolan the monopoly on thinking blockbusters?

    Oh, and by the way, if you REALLY think about it Nolan's Batman franchise is ultimately about protecting the status quo, vigilante justice and money funneled into military weapons to protect the status quo, the elite, and oh if you give the poor a chance all they will want to do is drag the rich out into the street and kill them, we must protect ourselves from the poor! They wanna kill! Oh, and the only poor people worth helping are orphans.

    I am just saying all that to say -- sci-fi, politically, etc -- this movie (and District 9) are going to be (are) different than Nolan's films.

    I actually like Nolan fine, but his ardent fans are the worst, especially when they call him Kubrickian. Let Nolan be what he is: an entertaining director. Let's not call him the best of all time. His stories are spectacle, but c'mon, they don't hold up. I mean Bruce Wayne is in a prison without any access to money, in a pit, seemingly in Siberia or something, but he's able to show up at just the right time that the poor people are killing the rich?!

  • Mr Anonymous | April 10, 2013 9:30 AMReply

    Looks fucking A-MA-ZING!

  • Michael's brain | April 10, 2013 7:03 AMReply

    Jason Bourne in the future! Elysium looks sleek, Damon looks ripped, the tech is awesome. Take down some evil, Matt! YOWZA!

  • Sean | April 10, 2013 4:18 AMReply

    Surely looks like a dam sick spectacle. Theres no denying it looks EPIC!!!

    For the concerned....

    - Damon has a keen eye on script so I believe the story WILL BE THERE, the visuals are amazing!

    - Nolan is > Blomkamp (I mean come on fan boys lol)

    Extremely looking forward to this, looks like it will even top Oblivion & World War Z.

    IM predicting this right now to be a major box office smash hit & admired (however not loved like District 9), by critics as well

  • Glass. | April 10, 2013 12:26 AMReply


  • cirkusfolk | April 9, 2013 11:07 PMReply

    How are you all comparing Nolan to this filmmaker? Now if you want to compare him to Duncan Jones, both have two sci fi films completed, go right ahead.

  • Thesaurusrs | April 9, 2013 10:41 PMReply

    This looks great! And now Matt come back and do a Bourne movie! Please!?

  • Ian | April 9, 2013 10:32 PMReply

    Kinda funny and sad but this trailer looks very similar to trailer for Bioshock Infinite...

  • Real | April 9, 2013 10:20 PMReply

    Looking forward to this for a long time and I'm sure it is going to be fantastic but I don't think the trailer was cut together very well. I've noticed that seems to be characteristic of Sony trailers that they don't always show their movies in the best light.

  • Jackson | April 9, 2013 10:16 PMReply

    Oh and a bonus. You know that BWAAAMM sound? Yeah, that same sound from Prometheus is the same one from Alien. So Nolan didn't invent it.

  • Jackson | April 9, 2013 10:12 PMReply

    Pamela has it right. Don't compare the two. Nolan has what like 7 or 8 films now and Blomkamps 2nd one isn't even out yet and you're comparing the two? Watch this as a Blomkamp movie, not as a Nolan movie. Geeze.

  • Pamela | April 9, 2013 10:06 PMReply

    sometimes nolan fans are just as annoying as twihards, neill blomkamp doesn't have anything to do with nolan, district 9 was just an amazing film, so i'll wait until the release of the movie to give an informed opinion, because a 2 minute trailer is not enough to start destroying a film!

  • cirkusfolk | April 9, 2013 9:49 PMReply

    Not sure how his suit, or lack thereof, makes him an indestructible super soldier. Looks like one bullet to the head would still kill him. I sure hope this movie is smart sci fi and not another Lock Out.

  • Hardman | April 9, 2013 9:20 PMReply

    This just looks terrible bwahahaha, earth is a shithole AGAIN!!!! What the freakin hell is wrong with hollywood and their boring sci-fi films the last good sci-fi I watched was The Matrix because it was actually awesome and totally new this just looks laaaaaaammmmmeeee.

  • Glass | April 9, 2013 8:39 PMReply

    I forget, why was this delayed for a year again? I remember it was supposed to come out in late 2012.

  • MJ | April 9, 2013 11:32 PM

    No it was supposed to be out last month, but was pushed to a release date more in line with District 9's, probably a combination of giving the post production more time and releasing it to a more wide open market.

  • Shannox | April 9, 2013 8:36 PMReply

    Looks like Transformers 4. Very disappointing.

  • K | April 9, 2013 8:32 PMReply

    How is it hella ambitious?

  • GREG | April 9, 2013 8:26 PMReply

    Blomkamp is trying so hard to be Christopher Nolan with this project. But what he doesn't realise is that Nolan actually puts story first then visuals. This movie has visuals but looks like a complete mess to be honest in the story department. Also the acting looks generic, did I not mention that the designs in this film are also imitations from so many other designs, just look at Mass Effect and Halo and you'll know what I'm talking about. Diss...diss...disappointed.

  • James | April 10, 2013 5:35 AM

    I've never heard such nonsense. A complete mess in the story department... based on a trailer? Ignoring the fact that this trailer has purposefully obscured its narrative (much like Inception), in order to retain an element of surprise, that is a ridiculously ignorant assumption to make. How on earth can you tell it has no structure, characters, or emotion? It's a 2 minute trailer!

  • MJ | April 9, 2013 11:38 PM

    Lordy how I wish Nolan had never taken on Batman, sometimes I'd trade the joy we've gotten out of his big budget movies if it meant commenters didn't bring him up all the damn time any time big budget films are discussed. Sorry but District 9 had more real world heft to it than any of Nolan's films have ever had, and was built around involving characters with strong arcs (most of which are CGI) so your doubt is as misplaced as your comparison. Blomkamp and Nolan have each done 1 science fiction film, Inception is wildly entertaining and ambitious in its genre elements, but District 9 is the stronger overall experience. The trailer obviously doesn't want to reveal everything and isn't cut by the filmmaking team anyway, oh ye of little faith.

  • d | April 9, 2013 9:51 PM

    "Story means structure, characters and emotion. There's clearly none here,"

    Based on a trailer.

    It may not interest or intrigue you, but why don't you see the movie first before deciding whether or not it has structure/characters/emotion? Would you rather they condense the entire story into two minutes?

  • GREG | April 9, 2013 9:36 PM

    Javier, I'm not saying that it will be awful I just feel that it didn't hold my attention, if it can't do that at this point how will I convince myself to pay for it and watch it. If a film is mostly visual then it needs character and should be compelling e.g The Artist, Eraserhead, 2001 and Tree Of Life just for examples.

  • GREG | April 9, 2013 9:16 PM

    Yeah, I agree with you Javier. They do tend to show a lot these days. As for the Spirit, I just really don't like Miller for doing that to the character considering that the comics were actually a lot more civil and colouful. For sure the audience was robbed.

  • Javier | April 9, 2013 9:09 PM

    Again, easier said than done. How many of your favorite movies had great trailers or horrible ones? But again, if you can foresee action set pieces and momentum while the screen fades in and out, like I said, must be extremely talented. I've never watched a movie like that, may as well just listen to movies nowadays if that much can be contained without so much as "viewing" it. Agree to disagree.

  • GREG | April 9, 2013 9:05 PM

    @Javier, a 2-minute trailer should get you involved without fully giving away everything of course. This was 2-minutes of boringness never mind the dismal action and effects.

  • Javier | April 9, 2013 9:03 PM

    Fair, but when any movie is trying to sell itself in or around two minutes how can it not rely on a logline or visuals. Joking aside, trailers simply show too much nowadays and that's an annoying issue. It would be a great for the Playlist to recount impressive trailers (story, visuals, etc.) that ultimately let you down, I can count many. Bottom line, you just never know and I certainly don't rely too heavily on two minutes of material to chop up the acting......How many people walked in 'The Spirit" counting on "Sin City"........yeah that must have sucked.

  • Javier | April 9, 2013 8:52 PM

    And all of this insight from a 2 minute trailer?? I'm not even going to complain, that's just impressive. You're probably the most awesome guy in real life.

  • KT | April 9, 2013 8:47 PM

    "This movie has visuals but looks like a complete mess to be honest in the story department."

    That basically sums up Nolan's last two movies.

  • GREG | April 9, 2013 8:47 PM

    @The two commenters.

    Story means structure, characters and emotion. There's clearly none here, there is a logline but there is no actual story. Just lots of toys and explosions for those nostalgic fans of Blade Runner. I'm afraid it just looks generic. Blomkamp has put an emphasis on the visuals but none on what's most important.

    True, a teaser shouldn't tell you everything. But is should hold your attention and make you want to actually replay it a couple of times. This just didn't even catch me, I just kept on looking around the room thinking about work, seriously this just looks boring like another boring sci-fi Tron Legacy.

  • serpico | April 9, 2013 8:42 PM

    Trying to be like NOlan? What are you talking about? Does Nolan have a monopoly on creativity? On SCI-FI? Did Nolan create the Sci Fi thriller? What an asinine statement.

  • Glass | April 9, 2013 8:38 PM

    It's a teaser... chill with the "WHERE'S TEH STORY" wrap

  • d | April 9, 2013 8:34 PM

    "looks like a complete mess to be honest in the story department."


  • Shanon | April 9, 2013 8:15 PMReply

    Do you think Damon and Foster realize that they are part of the 1% in real life ? Not the 0,001%, but still the 1% ?

  • thislalife | April 9, 2013 8:10 PMReply


  • MJ | April 9, 2013 11:41 PM

    Violence and explosions aside, District 9 is certainly more for "grown ups" than any of Nolan's films since Insomnia, so preferring Blomkamp doesn't make one childish, but the stream of inane trolling and name calling certainly does.

  • 98Dell35 | April 9, 2013 9:31 PM

    Go jump off a mountain. Are you an idiot, Nolan will kick this guy into has been's fester any time this looks bloody shite.

  • d | April 9, 2013 9:13 PM

    The "fine wines" comment is pretty hilarious.

  • KT | April 9, 2013 9:02 PM

    "You must be a child or something, maybe a teenager still playing Xbox and drinking lots of cola, eh? Maybe when you start drinking fine wines, reading more books and watching classic films you'll start understanding why filmmakers like Christopher Nolan are far more superior to wannabe auteurs like Blomkamp. It takes maturity, you'll get there son.

    P.S Did your thick ears not hear the famous BRAAAAM sound that Nolan and Hans Zimmer introduced to the world of film and trailers. Go to bed now."

    I literally laughed out loud. You can't be serious... Christopher Nolan (and I am a fan of most of his films) is what the X-Box generation considers an auteur. And it takes maturity to understand that... Now, go drink your "fine wine", son.

  • ROBBY | April 9, 2013 8:53 PM

    You must be a child or something, maybe a teenager still playing Xbox and drinking lots of cola, eh? Maybe when you start drinking fine wines, reading more books and watching classic films you'll start understanding why filmmakers like Christopher Nolan are far more superior to wannabe auteurs like Blomkamp. It takes maturity, you'll get there son.

    P.S Did your thick ears not hear the famous BRAAAAM sound that Nolan and Hans Zimmer introduced to the world of film and trailers. Go to bed now.

  • oogle monster | April 9, 2013 8:32 PM

    funny that you mention that considering this trailer starts with the Inception BRAAAAAM sound.

  • KT | April 9, 2013 8:14 PM

    And it's not even close.

  • Michael M. | April 9, 2013 7:54 PMReply

    Great trailer! alot of tense momentum brewing. I'm excited(:

  • Master Ninja of the 495 | April 9, 2013 7:53 PMReply

    Looks pretty tight to me. There's always some weak group of cynics who hate. F them. This joint looks GREAT! C'mon man ... Matt Damon teamed up with Syd Meade designer of Blade Runner. This can't go wrong.

  • d | April 9, 2013 7:36 PMReply

    Looks pretty great.

  • Ryan Strandjord | April 9, 2013 7:34 PMReply

    Seems pretty tame to me. Lots of money poured into SFX, but where's the story? The Island was a beautiful looking film too, but had absolutely no substance whatsoever. Judging by the trailer for this film, it might not be far off from that.

  • Seeker | April 10, 2013 5:49 PM

    Just a teaser, you know?

    If this teaser had revealed too much, people would be saying: Oh look, a nice movie, let's wait for the director's cut in August!

    And, did you see District 9? It was far away of being a non-substance movie

  • Glass | April 9, 2013 7:11 PMReply

    Kick ass. I've been looking forward to this, but my god you'd think audiences would be sick of the "Earth is an abandoned shithole" Hollywood movie conceit at this point (Oblivion, A.E., World War Z, this)

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