Neill Blomkamp blew a lot of people away with 2009’s District 9, a film that deftly dealt with the legacy of apartheid in his native South Africa, and also proved the director had some serious chops when it came to making magic on a budget. (For the record, District 9 had a reported budget of $30 million, and it went on to bring in $211 million worldwide.) It should surprise no one, then, that we here at GFR are itching to see Blomkamp’s next SF outing, the mysterious flick called Elysium. We know it stars a bald Matt Damon. We know District 9‘s Sharlto Copley is playing the main villain. And now, thanks to Copley, we know a bit more.
Elysium is set in the year 2159, when Earth has become an overpopulated hell-hole, and the wealthy of the world have removed themselves to an orbiting station from which the film gets its name. Damon plays Max, a working-glass guy who is stricken with cancer. The only chance for his survival is to infiltrate Elysium, and gain access to the top-tier healthcare that is only available on the station. Needless to say, Elysium will be commenting on some of the ideas and arguments that are points of much contention in our modern society.
Copley told Nerdist that his character is a black-ops agent who works for the upper class on Elysium, removing or silencing anyone who tries to buck the status quo or cause problems for his employers. Ironically, in spite of working for the privileged elite, Copley’s “Krueger” still lives in the same filthy, overcrowded conditions as those he’s tasked to “deal with.”
When it comes to playing a villain, the actor definitely has his sights set high.
Copley says that the last movie villain he really enjoyed was the late Heath Ledger’s brilliant portrayal of the Joker in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. And like the Joker, Copley says his character isn’t always a scowling sourpuss. He wanted to play a villain that did evil things but was still likeable in a perverse way.
You’re not trying to make heavy, heavy drama. Even though he’s a bad man, there’s still a pure, sort of entertainment value to the character … I liked the Joker. I’m not supposed to, but I liked watching him. That’s why I would want to play a villain. I wouldn’t want to play a villain that was so, so unlikable and dark that he’s almost boring, or just depressing. I think that sort of ability to have some charisma in a villain is cool.
Elysium is set to arrive in theaters on March 1, 2013.