Comic-Con: Sony sizzles with ‘Elysium’

Blompkamp's 'District 9' follow-up resonates with nerd herd

On a day TV dominated Hall H, Sony was the only major movie studio to take its turn in the big room, sneaking six minutes of its ”Total Recall” remake, bringing Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Emily Blunt onstage for a well-received ”Looper” presentation and kicking up plenty of dust with the very first look at footage from Neill Blomkamp’s ”Elysium.”

”There’s an element of salesmanship about films that makes me feel a little bit distanced,” Blomkamp said. ”But the idea about showing footage at comic-Con is different I’m completely OK with it.”

The ”District 9” helmer should be OK with the reaction, too, as fans and bloggers were wowed by his vision of a future in which a toxic and overpopulated Earth is orbited by a utopian space station where the wealthy have escaped it. Though much of the effects were still in the previsualization stage, Blomkamp’s signature dusty, dirty and hyper-real style was evident, and the haves-and-have-nots political theme should elevate ”Elysium” above the growing group of dystopian-future pics — just like it did for ”District 9.”.

The day’s movie panels actually kicked off with Screen Gems’ ”Resident Evil: Retribution,” which followed midday Hall H presentations for ”The Walking Dead” and ”Game of Thrones.” Many Comic-Con vets commented that the AMC and HBO shows drew the biggest crowds to the waiting area in recent memory, though much of it dispersed by the time the films took the stage.

Sony’s ”Total Recall” redo also took a second dip at Comic-Con on Friday — studio brought some early footage last year — this time debuting a six-minute sizzle reel packed with nonstop action and set in a future world that looked more like a ”Blade Runner” than the original Arnold Schwarzenegger pic.

”I did think about messing around with an Austrian accent for about seven minutes,” star Colin Farrell joked.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt tried on a Bruce Willis affectation during the panel for ”Looper,” the story of assassins who use time-travel to dispose of bodies. Though Bruce Willis couldn’t make it, he came up a lot — especially Gordon-Levitt’s efforts to transform into a younger version of him via prosthetics and practice.

”I watched all his movies” Gordon-Levitt said, ”even put the audio from his movies on my iPod.”

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