With Pacific Rim set to open later this week, the next big sci-fi event of the summer season is Neill Blomkamp’s Elysium. While Guillermo del Toro’s film definitely delivers the awesome, mechs versus monsters side of sci-fi, Blomkamp’s follow up to District 9 promises to skew more towards the big idea end of the spectrum. But don’t worry, there looks to be ton of kick ass action to go with the more thought provoking portion of the program. In a highly stylized future, you know that world building will play an important role in the film. We’ve caught glimpses in the trailers, and now here are a handful of pieces of concept art to show us what may be in store.
Sci-fi is big on imagining futures where the gap between rich and poor has expanded to such a degree that there are only extremes on either end, where you’re either super wealthy, or living in abject squalor, with nothing in between. Seems like a natural progression the way things are headed. This plays a big role in the upcoming Snowpiercer, and it is front and center in Elysium. The Earth has been degraded to such a degree that anyone who can afford it, moves to a luxury orbiting space station. Think of it like white flight in the 70s, only in space.
Hovering just out of reach of most, Elysium, as the space station is called, is clean, safe, and the citizens have access to all manner of modern medicine and medical technology. You know, things that the people living below them in slums can only dream about. That is the focus of most of these images, the sleek, ultra-modern home for the well endowed. Everything is crisp and clean, and unlikely to give you tetanus or blood poisoning should you happen to cut yourself on a sharp edge.
Come to think of it, there probably aren’t any sharp edges to cut yourself on. But if, by some miracle, you injure yourself, there are machines, like that red, pod looking piece of tech, that can fix you right up. This is what Max (Matt Damon), desperately needs. After a freak accident at work leaves him with only days left to live, he is a man pushed to the brink. After having a badass metal exoskeleton drilled into his bones, he sets out to take Elysium down a few pegs, and get medical care for himself and, according to the trailers, and adorable little baby.
Elysium also stars Jodie Foster and Sharlto Copely, and opens in IMAX on August 9.