Neil Blomkamp had a roundabout path to summer tentpole filmmaking. Originally picked to helm the Peter Jackson-produced Halo film before inter-studio quibbling killed that film, Blomkamp then rose from the ashes with the much lower budget District 9, which turned out a hit and a Best Picture nominee. On the eve of his next film, the similarly dystopian action thriller Elysium, he’s the subject of a profile in Wired titled “The Dystopian,” that covers everything from his childhood in South Africa and prodigious rise through the VFX community to his ascension to in-demand blockbuster director.

Despite the aliens-as-apartheid feel of District 9 and the literal class warfare of Elysium, Blomkamp doesn’t consider himself a political filmmaker, saying “Anybody who thinks they can change the world by making films is sorely mistaken.” There are other intriguing tidbits of information littered through the article, like that he initially sought Ninja from Die Antwoord for the lead in Elysium before moving onto Eminem (who wanted to shoot in Detroit), and then slumming it with Matt Damon. Or that he's a big Michael Bay fan, even making a failed pilgrimage to Los Angeles at 19 with the intention of meeting the Explosion-er In Chief. He also offers details about Chappie, the “funny robot movie” he’s making next with Sharlto Copley and members of Die Antwoord. Oh, and he also lets slip that he turned down Simon Kinsburg, the producer of both Elysium and the upcoming new Star Wars movie, when he offered him the chance to direct the next film in that series. Apparently the consternation over that Halo movie still persists.