‘Elysium’ Star Sharlto Copley to Get Heroic in ‘Hardcore’ (Exclusive)

Russian filmmaker Ilya Naishuller will write and direct the first-person POV action movie

After playing the villain in Spike Lee's "Oldboy" and Neill Blomkamp's "Elysium," Sharlto Copley has signed on to play the hero in "Hardcore," an inventive first-person POV action movie that will be written and directed by Ilya Naishuller and produced by his fellow Russian filmmaker Timur Bekmambetov, TheWrap has learned.

Naishuller is an up-and-coming director whose short film, "Bad Motherfucker," has already earned nearly 23 million YouTube and Vimeo views since it debuted this spring. He's also the frontman of the punk band Biting Elbows, whose music appears in the short.

After garnering the industry's attention, "Bad Motherfucker" caught the eye of Bekmambetov, who is producing "Hardcore" along with Naishuller, Katia Kononeko and Inga Vainshtein.

While the project's first-person POV aesthetic is inspired by "Bad Motherfucker," it will be based on Naishuller's original screenplay.

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Plot details remain under wraps, though the stylized action movie will feature sci-fi elements and find Copley killing a lot of bad guys to save a damsel in distress.

"Hardcore" will be shot in Naishuller's (pictured right) and Bekmambetov's native Russia.

Since making his acting debut just four short years ago in Neill Blomkamp's 2009 sci-fi hit "District 9," Copley has been in high demand and is poised for further success with a breakout year. He next stars opposite Matt Damon and Jodie Foster in Blomkamp's big-budget sci-fi movie "Elysium," which Sony opens on Aug. 9. The South African actor also terrorizes Josh Brolin in Spike Lee's remake of the classic revenge film "Oldboy," which FilmDistrict will release on Oct. 25.

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Copley, who can currently be seen in the well-reviewed indie sci-fi movie "Europa Report," also plays the male lead opposite Angelina Jolie in Disney's "Maleficent," which hits theaters next summer. He has wrapped Atlas Independent's horror movie "Open Grave" and is set to work with Blomkamp again on his next movie "Chappie," which may co-star Dev Patel.

Bekmambetov is the director of "Wanted" and "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter," as well as the hit Russian movies "Night Watch" and "Day Watch."

Naishuller has been called the next Quentin Tarantino by one website, and his short "Bad Motherfucker" has also earned praise from director Darren Aronofsky.

WME reps Copley, and Bekmambetov, while Naishuller is repped by Inga Vainshtein of IV Management.