LOS ANGELES (AP) — The year is 2154, and Earth belongs to the poor. The wealthiest citizens live on "Elysium," an idyllic, disease-free utopia they built in space.
On Monday, a few hundred film fans in Los Angeles, Berlin and Sao Paolo got an early look at the future home of the 1 percent as imagined by "District 9" writer-director Neill Blomkamp.
Blomkamp showed about 10 minutes of footage from the anticipated film during a special screening. Matt Damon, who stars alongside Jodie Foster, introduced the footage in Berlin and appeared at Hollywood's Arclight Theater via satellite.
In the film, Earth is a trash-filled landscape policed unforgivingly by robotic droids. Flying military tanks patrol the sky.
Damon plays a diseased Earthling trying to infiltrate Elysium to save himself, and perhaps all of humanity. A group of Earth-bound rebels outfit him for the journey with a tentacled "strength suit." They use a drill to affix a digital box to his head that allows him to transfer brain contents as effortlessly as computer files.
Foster plays an Elysium administrator determined to keep Damon out. The star of "District 9," Sharlto Copley, plays a bearded villain who works on Earth to protect the wealthy space enclave.
Speaking to reporters after the screening, Blomkamp hinted that there could be a sequel to his breakthrough debut.
"I think the world of 'District 9' has a lot of very interesting race and impression-based ideas that I would still like to explore in that world," he said.
"Elysium" opens Aug. 9.