No one puts Charlize Theron in a corner. Okay, maybe Girlfight helmer Karyn Kusama, who directs the Oscar winner in Aeon Flux (2005), a sci-fi action drama set 400 years in the future. Theron (who slipped back into the spandex shown here four weeks after injuring her neck last August) plays the title character, a mercenary assassin plotting against a totalitarian government. But the movie isn't all guns and backflips. ''She's part assassin, part manic-depressive,'' says Kusama. ''She's complicated she's not Charles Bronson in a catsuit.'' Theron appreciated going more than skintight-deep. ''This is very much a character piece,'' she told EW on the Berlin set. ''[We're all] so into the characters that we'll be stuck in a [dramatic] scene for days. Then all of a sudden it's like, Oh yeah, now we have to do wirework, now I have to kill somebody with my hands.''