Say you’re in the middle of the deepest sleep of your life, and you’re drawn out of it well before you’re supposed to wake up. What’s the last thing you want to see? Okay, so a Jar Jar Binks sizzle reel is probably the worst, but having one of Keanu Reeves’ characters standing above you would be pretty awful as well. But that’s the central idea of his next project, his first in the science fiction genre since Scott Derrickson’s The Day the Earth Stood Still.
Wayfare Entertainment will be financing and producing Passengers, a sci-fi romance to be helmed by first-time feature director Brian Kirk, who has directed lots of TV episodes for series such as Game of Thrones and Luck. The script was written by Prometheus co-writer Jon Spaihts, who was recently attached to the Black Hole remake. And, of course, it will star Keanu Reeves. Will a Reeves/Spaihts collaboration be the kick in the pants that science fiction needs? Make sure that’s a big basket you’re putting those eggs in.
So what story will Passengers tell? Some kind of spacecraft is transporting thousands of citizens across the galaxy to colonize a distant planet. While in route, one of the sleep chambers messes up, and Keanu Reeves wakes up 90 years before he’s supposed to. And because staying awake for that long by yourself can be a total shitshow, he decides to wake up a female passenger, and a strange romance begins to form. The female has yet to be cast.
While he’s been busy not making Bill & Ted 3, Reeves directed his own flick, the Chinese martial arts film Man of Tai Chi, and also has the samurai film 47 Ronin coming out this Christmas. If he manages to fall asleep for the next 45 years, we’ll be the first to let you know.