UPDATE: Deadline is now reporting that Elysium has been picked up by Sony, which also distributed District 9. The story also says that Universal is negotiating to co-finance the film, however, I have learned from the studio that they are not involved.

It doesn't feel like it's been that long since Neill Blomkamp amazed the world with his science-fiction apartheid parable District 9, but the film will be two years old come August. He's been working on his follow-up, Elysium, for some time now, and has already attracted a stellar cast that includes the return of Sharlto Copley as well as Matt Damon and Jodie Foster. The problem? We still really don't know much about it outside of the fact that it will be another entry in the science fiction genre. Today we get a few new details as well as confirmation that it will look incredible.

Deadline has learned that Blomkamp has begun shopping his next film to studios using a storyboarded presentation. According to the report, Elysium will be set 100 years in the future and there's a social allegory to the story, though it's an "unabashedly big movie." The film is also being planned as being rated R, as revealed by the fact that they won't be presenting to Disney as the studio, "won't make R-rated event films."

Even cooler news is that Blomkamp has hired Syd Mead as the film's set designer. While he isn't exactly a household name, Mead is a legend in the sci-fi genre, having done design work for Blade Runner, Aliens, and Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Now 77 years old, Mead hasn't done much work in the last few years, his last two projects being Mission: Impossible III in 2006 and Mission To Mars in 2000, but was so impressed by District 9 that he decided to pick up the phone.

Much in the same way I feel about Duncan Jones, I'm incredibly excited to see what Blomkamp brings us in the next few years. The science-fiction genre has been so tired in the last few years and it's great to see directors with vision get back into it and shake things up. It's time for the science fiction reawakening.

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