Well that didn't take long, but I'm not the slightest bit surprised.District 9 director Neill Blomkamp took his new project Elysium with financial backers Media Rights Capital (and a secured cast of Matt Damon, Jodie Foster & Sharlto Copley) out to studios yesterday to grab itself a distributor and it was like selling candy to a baby! Sony, the backers of District 9, made a $120 million deal almost immediately with MRC for Columbia Pictures to handle the worldwide distribution and meetings with rival studios were quick cancelled. Such is the confidence and profile that Blomkamp has built after his barnstorming debut in 2009 that a deal was struck early. The good news on the project doesn't end there though as Blomkamp has secured the services of 'visual futurist' production designer Syd Mead, who worked on such films as Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Blade Runner, Tron, Aliens and even designing Johnny 5. Mead doesn't work on that many film projects these days, another key hint that Blomkamp is brewing something special here.
So what do we have to look forward to in Elysium? Well, this promises to be a BIGR rated science fiction spectacle, set about 100 years into the future, with an undercurrent of social commentary and full on action. A superb cast with no doubt more to follow, all from one of the most exciting young directors around who has been given total creative freedom by his backers. Lets hope he doesn't lose his head like many young up-and-comers before him. The film is slated to begin production this July in Vancouver before moving to Mexico City in the Autumn and a Christmas 2012 release date has already been penciled in. Media Rights Capital have also agreed to back Blomkamp's next film too, a self scripted original called Chappie which will begin production as soon as he is finished with Elysium. No info is around on this one yet though but it's a smart deal for Blompkamp, and could become a very smart deal for Sony. If nothing else, those big studio franchise offers that Blomkamp has and will continue to receive might as well go straight to his spam e-mail folder.
So, in 2012 we have two huge science fiction treats book-ending the year it seems. Old master Ridley Scott returns to the genre with his original concept Prometheus in March and young upstart Neil Blomkamp's original concept Elysium. Both Greek mythology associated titles too. So, if you had to choose, which one are you looking forward to more?