In a cinematic climate where reboots, remakes and countless unnecessary sequels are the norm, it’s wonderfully refreshing to hear of a film premise that proves that Hollywood can still be original.
Add two of the most famous actors of their generation into the mix, as well as an Oscar-nominated director at the helm of it, and the idea just gets more and more enticing. The upcoming romantic sci-fi thriller, Passengers, is a real ‘one to watch’ in this respect, as it ticks all the boxes you could ever want for an interesting Christmas release.
Written by Jon Spaihts (Prometheus, Doctor Strange), the film tells the story of two passengers on the Starship Avalon, whose hibernation pods open 90 years before the ship is set to arrive at a colony planet. Stranded on the spaceship and stuck in the hopeless realisation that they probably won’t live to see their destination, the two strike up a relationship and begin to fall in love. However, the couple soon discover than their malfunctioning hibernation pods aren’t the only problem on board the vessel.
Despite it’s intriguing premise, Passengers has been in development hell for almost a decade, bouncing from studio to studio without ever being put into production. Thankfully, back in 2014, Sony Pictures won the rights to the film and managed to score two of the world’s most popular stars in the leading roles. Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence play the titular passengers, Jim and Aurora, who find comfort in each other as they come to terms with the realities of their dilemma.
Each huge franchise stars in their own right, the coming together of these two immensely charismatic actors is beyond exciting and, if the stars align, the chemistry between them is also sure to be magnetic. Although, as Lawrence revealed in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, their on-screen dalliances proved to be quite a challenge. The actress apparently got very drunk in preparation for a sex scene in the film, citing that it was “bizarre” and “awkward”, as well as “very vulnerable.” Nevertheless, given Lawrence’s Oscar-winning talents, we’re still certain that her performance will be as real and engaging as her previous roles.
The film also stars Michael Sheen and Laurence Fishburne and is directed by Morten Tydlum – the man behind such films as The Imitation Game and Headhunters. Speaking of the film, Tydlum enthused about its potential:“It’s a very intimate movie while taking place on this epic scale. It’s a story about what’s important to live a full life. What are the things we need as humans? It’s not afraid to entertain but at the same time it asks big questions about what does it mean to really feel happy. Every generation has its love story. I feel like this is it. I had to do it.”
Continuing to add distinctively human flourishes to the sci-fi genre, in a vein similar to The Martian, Passengers looks set to be a real treat. From its engaging premise to its supremely pleasing cast list, this film looks so good on paper and we’re hopeful that on screen, it’ll truly be out of this world.
Passengers, directed by Morten Tydlum, is expected to be distributed in the UK by Sony Pictures on 23rd December 2016. Certificate TBC.