It's been nearly three years since Neill Blomkamp made his stunning directorial debut with District 9, turning what could have been a ho-hum, low-budget alien invasion movie into a stirring and occasionally heartbreaking action drama, enough to earn itself a Best PIcture nomination and Blomkamp plenty of fans for life. But unlike so many new directors who get shoved into the next big thing the minute their film becomes a hit, Blomkamp took his time picking his next project before finally settling on Elysium, another sci-fi film but this time with stars like Matt Damon, Jodie Foster and William Fichtner leading it. (His District 9 star Sharlto Copley is on board as well, not to worry).

Elysium has been kept under wraps so successfully that I'd honestly forgotten it already went into production, but it's moving fast toward its March 1, 2013 release date, with test screenings already happening. That's how a synopsis for the film made its way to Collider, giving us the first clear sense of the story Elysium will follow. Turn out, the movie might be way more similar to District 9 than you might have thought. Take a look below.

In the year 2159 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 Earth. Secretary Rhodes (Jodie Foster), a hard the government of?cial, will stop at nothing to enforce anti-immigration laws and preserve the luxurious lifestyle of the citizens of Elysium. That doesn’t stop the people of Earth from trying to get in, by any means they can. When unlucky Max (Matt Damon) is backed into a corner, he agrees to take on a daunting mission that if successful will not only save his life, but could bring equality to these polarized worlds.

Remembering the alien spacecraft hovering over Johannesburg in District 9, and the sharp division between aliens and humans that served as a metaphor for apartheid, and we seem to be back in very similar thematic territory-- which could wind up being a good thing if Blomkamp also manages to expand on them. Even the thought of Damon in action hero mode has me automatically on board, though, so I'll be anxious to see how Blomkamp's sophomore effort goes come next spring.

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