What’s anticipated to be a major Christmas release for Sony Pictures, here’s the first look at Passengers, a sci-fi love story with two of the biggest young stars in the business, Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt. Passengers also marks the first major studio tentpole for The Imitation Game director Morten Tyldum following his Oscar nomination.
Passengers takes place on a spacecraft transporting thousands of people to a distant colony planet in suspended animation. The trip takes a deadly turn when Jim and Aurora’s (Pratt and Lawrence) hibernation pods awaken them 90 years before anyone else. As Jim and Aurora look into the malfunction, they fall deeply in love. But the ship is collapsing and the two soon learn why they were mysteriously woken up. Sony showed a trailer for Passengers that wowed exhibitors back at April’s CinemaCon and most of those key scenes are featured here.
As Deadline broke exclusively, Tyldum became attached a month after Sony won rights to the Jon Spaihts script in a competitive auction in December 2014, and it was a major material buy for the Culver City-based studio while they were weathering the big hack. By June 2015, Lawrence and Pratt boarded this estimated $100M production.
At one point prior to Sony’s involvement, Passengers had Keanu Reeves and Rachel McAdams attached along with Game Of Thrones and Boardwalk Empire helmer Brian Kirk. Before that, Reese Witherspoon was expected to play the female lead, and The Weinstein Company bought the script in a big deal at Cannes in 2012. However, producer Neal H. Moritz was tracking the project and when it became free, he brought it to then-Sony production president Michael De Luca.
Ori Marmur is a producer alongside Moritz through the Original Film label along with Michael Maher for Start Media and Stephen Hamel of Company Films. EPs are Spaihts, David Householter, Ben Browning, Lynwood Spinks, Bruce Berman, Greg Basser, and Ben Waisbren. LStar Capital and Village Roadshow are producing with Sony.
Passengers opens December 21.