'Elysium' Cast on Social Issues Underlying Film
By ROBERT PACE
August 08, 2013
Underneath the thrilling action stunts of Matt Damon and its futuristic setting, Elysium touches on important social issues like health care and class division. At the film's Los Angeles premiere, ET caught up with the stars and filmmaker to get their take on the incorporated issues.
"There's 'Elysiums' everywhere," said Diego Luna ("Julio"), who highlighted the film's application to today's world. "Every city has its own 'Elysium' and that has to stop. The gap between those who have and those who don't have, it can get any bigger."
The film is set in the year 2154, in which the wealthy live on a utopian space habitat (called "Elysium") and the Earth has become an overpopulated slum. Incorporated into the film along with class issues are immigration, health care, and political issues.
Although the film is set 141 years into the future, writer, producer, and director Neill Blomkamp says the events and themes of the film are not futuristic by any means; they are now.
"I don't think 'Elysium's' set in the future; I think it's set now," Blomkamp said. "This area in Los Angeles is 'Elysium.' It's happening right now. Sudan, Zimbabwe, parts of Indonesia are future Earth. It's meant to be today. It's every event that's happening today."
With an abundance of action and other happenings in the sci-fi film, Sharlto Copley, who plays Damon's nemesis "Agent Kruger," maintains that the film doesn't impose any issues upon the viewer, but rather it's critics who are choosing to focus on the social issues.
"There's not a specific message that [Neill] is trying to put forward in the film," the South African actor said. "...I think what you get in good satirical work is people spot issues that are important to them. ... So, it depends which side of the political...spectrum you are."
Watch the full video of Wednesday evening's Los Angeles premiere to hear why Matt Damon's co-stars think he's the ideal action star.
Elysium is in theaters tomorrow (August 9).