Impressive cast rounded up for Elysium

(The Philippine Star) - August 31, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Academy Award-winners Matt Damon and Jodie Foster headline the impressive cast of Columbia Pictures’ new futuristic, action-thriller Elysium from District 9 director Neill Blomkamp.

Joining them are Sharlto Copley (The A-Team), William Fichtner (The Dark Knight), Diego Luna (Milk), Wagner Moura (Elite Squad) and Alice Braga (I Am Legend).

In the film which is set in 2154, two classes of people exist: The very wealthy, who live on a pristine man-made space station called Elysium, and the rest, who live on an overpopulated, ruined planet. The people of Earth are desperate to escape the crime and poverty that is now rampant throughout the land. The only man with the chance to bring equality to these worlds is Max (Damon), an ordinary guy in desperate need to get to Elysium. With his life hanging in the balance, he reluctantly takes on a dangerous mission — one that pits him against Elysium’s Secretary Delacourt (Foster) and her hard-line forces — but if he succeeds, he could save not only his own life, but millions of people on Earth as well.

“Max, like a lot of people on Earth, has always aspired to get to Elysium,” says Damon. “That was his dream. But he grew up. You get the idea that he’s been a petty criminal, but on an Earth where resources are so scarce that everybody’s hustling in some way, he’s just doing what he’s got to do to get by. He’s been beaten up by life and now, he’s resigned to his life on Earth. Then suddenly, he’s put in a position to become the only person who can change things.”

Foster stars as the hardline official determined to protect Elysium for the wealthy. “As the Secretary of Defense, she sees it as her job to keep immigrants out of Elysium,” says Foster. “She knows what will happen if you let everybody in — it’ll end up just like Earth. If you try to give Elysium to everybody, you’ll end up giving it to nobody.”

Copley â€” Blomkamp’s childhood friend and the star of District 9 — re-teams with the director to take on the pivotal and villainous role of Kruger. “He’s ex-Special Forces, now a gun-for-hire operative, a professional soldier who works on Earth for the elite of Elysium,” explains Blomkamp.

Brazilian superstar Moura plays Spider, an underworld kingpin he describes as “a cross between a revolutionary and a human trafficker — a coyote; he’s a guy who helps people get into Elysium illegally. The question is, why didn’t he want to go to Elysium himself? And the answer is that he doesn’t want to be a part of Elysium â€” he has bigger plans in mind.”

Luna takes on the role of Julio, a friend from Max’s past who guides him back into a desperate life when Max has no other choice. “Normally, in films, you see good people and bad people — but in Elysium, it’s just people surviving,” he says. “He’s just a guy trying to live. Anybody can become a thief for the right reasons — if it’s about surviving, feeding our kids, making sure our families are okay, we’ll do anything. Julio is actually a very sweet and nice guy.”

Braga plays Frey, Max’s childhood friend — though their paths have diverged. “They were kids together in an orphanage,” Braga explains. “They’ve become almost like family, even though life has taken them in different directions. She always wanted to be a nurse, and she went for that dream and fought for it. When she and Max reunite, they pick up where they left off.”

Fichtner plays John Carlyle who created the computer program that operates the entire world of Elysium. “The droids, the borders, everything is in that,” shares Fichtner. “There’s nothing he wants more than to be on Elysium, rather than Earth. So when his beautiful little Bugatti shuttle is shot down, that’s the worst thing he can imagine.”

(Opening across the Philippines on Sept. 4, Elysium is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International. Visit www.columbiapictures.com.ph to see the latest trailers, get free downloads and play free movie games.)



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