A few weeks ago we mentioned we'd spoken to Sharlto Copley for reasons we preferred to keep mysterious. One wag on the Empire messageboards suggested it was because he was up for Han Solo in Star Wars VII, but most of you probably guessed it was to do with Neill ‘District 9’ Blomkamp's upcoming dystopian epic Elysium. Now, heralding Empire’s 2013 Sci-fi Preview, we have an exclusive new image of the movie, showcasing Copley as the film’s villain Kruger.
Elysium is set in the year 2159, and pits the oppressed people of the ruined planet Earth against the privileged elite aboard the Elysium space station. Matt Damon is ex-convict man-on-a-mission Max, fighting with the Terrans for equality, and Jodie Foster is the dastardly government official intent on enforcing anti-immigration laws and keeping Elysium for the Elysians; Kruger is her relentless attack dog.
Reports over the summer seemed to suggest that Copley, who of course starred for Blomkamp in District 9, had one eye on Heath Ledger's Joker for the role of the black-ops military nutbag, but Copley tells Empire this was a misunderstanding. "The Joker was a mistaken reference," he says. "I was really just saying that that was the last time I saw a villain that inspired me: somebody that set the bar. There’s no connection or likeness to The Joker in terms of the character. What I did with him — which I try to do with all my original characters — was draw from real life. I combined references from a very infamous South African military battalion called 32 Battalion, that fought in the Border Wars in South Africa, and a stereotype of character that you get in the south of Johannesburg, where the guys are a little bit more comfortable with violence!"
Sharlto Copley talks Elysium inside the new issue of Empire magazine
Elysium is out in the UK September 20. For much more from Sharlto, pick up Empire's new issue, out on December 27 in both magazine and tablet form.