'Elite Squad' star plays underground leader in sci-fi pic

Wagner Moura has landed one of the lead roles in MRC and Sony’s sci-fier ”Elysium,” which Neil Blomkamp will direct.

Pic is Blomkamp’s first directing gig since ”District 9” and already stars Matt Damon, Jodie Foster and Sharlto Copley.

Details on the plot are being kept under wraps, other than it’s in the same social-allegory vein as ”District 9” but on a much bigger scale set in the distant future.

Moura would play a menacing character, the underground leader involved in human trafficking but a hero among his community.

The pic is based on an original pitch written by Blomkamp that several studios were vying for in January before Sony swooped to take distribution.

Bill Block and Simon Kinberg will produce. The film will begin production in July with plans to release it in late 2012.

A relative newcomer to the states, Moura is best known for his role as the star of the Brazilian ”Elite Squad” films.

The most recent pic, ”Elite Squad 2,” appeared at the Sundance and Berlin Film Festivals to relatively good reviews.

Moura is repped by UTA, Ascend Entertainment and Bloom Hergott Diemer Rosenthal Laviolette & Feldman.

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