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UPDATE!! The Awesome Syd Mead Working With Neill Blomkamp on ELYSIUM!!


UPDATE:  According to Hollywood Reporter, Sony has picked up ELYSIUM.




Nordling here.

Anything that Neill Blomkamp does at this point, I'll be there for.  His next project, ELYSIUM, is another socially conscious sci-fi film set 100 years into the future, with all the technological advances and gadgetry that that implies.  He's scored some major actors to be in the film - Matt Damon, Jodie Foster - and I'm thinking he's using his newly gained clout from DISTRICT 9 to deliver something as visually stunning as that film with just as hard-hitting a social message.
From Deadline we get a new bit of information - the set designer will be none other than Syd Mead, who we all know from the amazing sets and imagery of Ridley Scott's BLADE RUNNER.  This sounds like a leap of ambition for Blomkamp - Deadline calls it "an unabashedly big movie" - and Mead is a notoriously tough sell for these kinds of films, turning down projects right and left, but apparently he admired DISTRICT 9 so much that he signed on.
With this film, Scott's PROMETHEUS, and Duncan Jones' next film after SOURCE CODE which will be a futuristic film inspired by BLADE RUNNER, big, thoughtful science fiction looks to be coming our way soon enough, and I can't be happier.  Good sci fi's always been about more than explosions, and even though DISTRICT 9 delivered on the action front there was obviously real thought that went into the story and the social aspects. Seeing Blomkamp with a real budget behind him is going to really be something, I'd bet.
Nordling, out.
Readers Talkback
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  • Jan. 19, 2011, 4:58 p.m. CST


    by Chanoc

    Can´t wait to hear more!

  • Jan. 19, 2011, 5:02 p.m. CST

    David Lynch is working on UBIK

    by Gorgomel

    now, that would be awesome!

  • Jan. 19, 2011, 5:02 p.m. CST

    That's some pretty geek-tastic shit right there.

    by WriteForTheEdit

    Syd Mead is a god.

  • Jan. 19, 2011, 5:06 p.m. CST

    Could be some good shit coming! (no msg)

    by kabong

    So you clicked anyway?

  • Jan. 19, 2011, 5:10 p.m. CST

    2tbs of ELYSIUM should help Harry with his bowels

    by BoRock_A_Boomer

    Hats off to the orderly who had to clean out HK's deep ass crack. That would be a good episode for that Dirty Job's guy.

  • Jan. 19, 2011, 5:16 p.m. CST

    Well, I was always wondering when the

    by ewokstew

  • Jan. 19, 2011, 5:17 p.m. CST

    Hot new sci-fi directors would be hitting

    by ewokstew

    the scene on a consistent basis. And clearly we have that in Blomkamp and Jones.

  • Jan. 19, 2011, 5:35 p.m. CST

    A new Golden Age of Sci-Fi?

    by jimmy_009

    I'm thrilled that now that we have the technology figured out we're turning from "look what we can do!" sci-fi movies to real sci-fi - where the tech on display is in service of actual IDEAS! It's potentially an exciting time to be a sci-fi fan. I hope this upcoming slate lives up to my growing expectations.

  • Jan. 19, 2011, 5:44 p.m. CST


    by D o o d

    I said nice!

  • Jan. 19, 2011, 5:45 p.m. CST

    Fucking YES

    by Judge Dredds Dirty Undies

    Long overdue that Syd did some more film work.

  • Jan. 19, 2011, 5:48 p.m. CST

    I worked with Syd Mead about 7 or 8 years ago

    by King_Knut

    on a proof-of-concept for the idea of a remixable film. The project never quite got the momentum behind it we were looking for, despite some interest and a healthy development budget. Nonetheless, Syd was a consummate gentleman, offered a couple of awesome studies, and great recommendations for other people to try (he put us onto TyRuben Ellingson, Stuart Jennet and Jeremy Love, who all produced fantastic concepts for us as well). Long may he reign.

  • Jan. 19, 2011, 6:08 p.m. CST

    I concur with Nordling

    by Mariusz

    Count me in on anything Blomkamp does! District 9 ruled! Who can forget the great Wikus Van De Merwe? But now with the lame casting news for DKR, my focus has turned to District 10! Can't wait for that, so long as Hackaway isn't cast in the lead...

  • Jan. 19, 2011, 6:11 p.m. CST

    Great concept artists make a huge difference

    by Keith

    Reading The Making of The Empire Strikes back recently brought home just how vital McQuarrie and Joe Johnston were. I mean, it sounds like such an obvious point to make, but those guys totally drove what the film would look like: characters, interiors, geometry, scale, ambiance. They were the single most important guys on the project along with Lucas, Kershner and Kasdan. More than that, I had simply not realized how many scenes in Empire were shot against matte paintings. Absolutely shitloads. Some are obvious - a few of the Bespin shots - many are not. The interiors of the Star Destroyers, the rebel hangars and hangar entrances, Luke first entering the corridors of Bespin, the end of the fight between Luke and Vader. When you think about it it's kind of obvious: they couldn't have built sets that big, and no CG existed. But it is a tribute that it had to be pointed out to me; it just wasn't an intuitive notion. They look real.

  • Jan. 19, 2011, 6:27 p.m. CST

    The only flick I'm psyched for is this one

    by alienindisguise

  • Jan. 19, 2011, 6:39 p.m. CST

    Doug Jones and Neil Blomkamp may be the ushers of a new wave of science fiction.

    by Stereotypical Evil Archer

    They have a lot to live up to.

  • Jan. 19, 2011, 6:43 p.m. CST

    Who was playing with Rendezvous with Rama? Was that Fincher?

    by Stereotypical Evil Archer

  • Jan. 19, 2011, 6:50 p.m. CST

    Great News!

    by MooseMalloy

  • Jan. 19, 2011, 6:51 p.m. CST

    stereotypical evil archer (re: RAMA)

    by Merrick

    Fincher and Morgan Freeman. As far as we know, they still are.

  • Jan. 19, 2011, 7:08 p.m. CST


    by Prof_Ender

    Remember, Mead also did the design work for this here anime from 1999. ^_^

  • Jan. 19, 2011, 7:43 p.m. CST

    Cool News!!

    by T 1000 xp professional

  • Jan. 19, 2011, 8:03 p.m. CST


    by Shubniggorath

    I considered Book of Eli to be kind of a Fallout movie, with the color palette, setting and "scavenged" look.

  • Jan. 19, 2011, 8:50 p.m. CST

    Hah, I read Syd Mead and thought Syd Field

    by Spyhunter

    Was thinking if he's needing script coaching then this might not be so good haha. Now that I'm set straight, this is great news and I can't wait to see Neill's next effort!

  • Jan. 19, 2011, 9:24 p.m. CST

    Jump in a urinal and stand on your head

    by SmokingRobot

    I'm the one that's alive, you're all dead. Sincerely, Glen Runciter.

  • Jan. 19, 2011, 9:25 p.m. CST

    shubniggorath - agreed

    by BubbaDestructo

    Book of Eli was VERY Fallout-like. In fact, my Fallout 3 character looked extremely close to Denzel's character - and I hadn't heard of Book of Eli until after I finished Fallout 3! Good, under-rated film.

  • Jan. 19, 2011, 9:49 p.m. CST

    I thought Blomkamp vowed to never work with a

    by southafricanguy

    big budget? Funny how he made such a point of saying that, and now the first oppertunity he gets to work with a big budget, he jumps at it. Not that I blame him or anything, the simple reality is that you need big bucks to do a lot of awsome sci-fi imagery or ideas justice. But then dont go around bad-mouthing big budgets... But regardless as a fellow South African, I m certainly proud of the guy and that my country actually managed to produce a great sci-fi director.... Love that Myd is working on this, the man is a design god imho....

  • Jan. 19, 2011, 10:39 p.m. CST

    Syd Mead is still working?

    by justmyluck

    That's tremendous. The last designs of his I saw were for a version of Japan's animated GUNDAM series (the primary Gundam was a bit unusual - but there was one design for a 'Turn X" Gundam which was distinctly his). It's interesting no one seems to mention Mead with regards to TRON:Legacy, since he was basically the first major artist to design specifically for CGI with the original TRON (and his designs were 'upgraded' for the sequel).

  • Jan. 19, 2011, 11:10 p.m. CST

    Time for Grownup Sci-Fi

    by IamZardoz

    I agree Im sick of all this comicbook crap. Lets see some 2001/Alien/Blade Runner/Sunshine! (not counting 3rd reel boogieman) No fuckin ray guns!

  • Jan. 20, 2011, 12:12 a.m. CST

    What was the "hard-hitting social message" again?

    by VitaminZ

    That apartheid was bad? That racism was bad? Yeah, thank goodness we have science fiction movies to let us in on that. Look, District 9 was a phenomenal movie but that had nothing to do with it's "message." The characters were cool, the story was great, and the action scenes were great too. The best part was that I didn't know what type of ending they were building to -- and it didn't disappoint. It wasn't the usual cookie cutter trash. Anyways, I'm psyched about this guy's next movie -- and hopefully a D9 sequel -- but that's because he's a good storyteller and not because I need more "message" movies in my life.

  • Jan. 20, 2011, 12:25 a.m. CST

    old guy talkin'.......

    by zopagtai

    someone mentioned "Ringworld"...i dunno. i'd almost be afraid to see that come to fruition. the industry doesn't have a very good track record translating revered speculative fiction novels. i mean, look at "I robot" or at how "SY FY"raped PJF's "Riverworld"....TWICE !! But considering what can now be done visually, does anybody out there remember Zelazny's "Lord of Light" ??

  • Jan. 20, 2011, 1:12 a.m. CST

    No wonder Blomkamp wants a bigger budget

    by Arbifax

    Just look at the District 9 artbook. So much of the original concept never made it into the film. Overlord slaver race, different classes of the slave race, original completely different mech suit, part of the movie actually taking place IN the space ship and tons of other stuff (including really cool Alien Hazmat suits) What you see in District 9 is like...25% at most of what they came up with.

  • Jan. 20, 2011, 1:13 a.m. CST

    Social messages are ok

    by macheesmo3

    as long as we aren't beaten over the head with it.... if a movie can be enjoyable as both a film and a bit of a "message: without being preachy and/or boring, then it succeeds... Sometimes, the message can become overbearing though... let's hope this doesn't happen. On a somewhat different note, I would like to see a return to hard science fiction in the realm of the original Andromeda Strain, 2001...etc (Though Moon fits in with the prior films very well imo)

  • Jan. 20, 2011, 1:22 a.m. CST

    D9 and its "message"

    by Arbifax

    The movie didn't have a message of that sort. D9 didn't say anything whatsoever about apartheid that could make the movie seem like a message film. It just used it as an interesting backdrop. D9 is just a cool movie with a funny and over the top lead character, tons of blood and guts, badass alien death rays and whatever. Smart and hard sci-fi it is not, far from it.

  • Jan. 20, 2011, 1:23 a.m. CST

    It feels good to be a sci-fi fan again

    by tomimt

    After all the rubbish that has passed for sci-fi lately, I'm glad, that some cool new stuff is geared towards us.

  • Jan. 20, 2011, 1:23 p.m. CST

    Syd Mead= Awesome

    by v3d

    I love his stuff. If you look up some of his concept designs from the 60's you'll see how they are finally becoming reality in 2011. Every designer I know sites him as a major influence on their work.