It’s been a bumpy ride for Passengers, but it looks like the Jon Spaihts-penned script finally has a home at Sony, despite all of the studio’s recent troubles with being massively hacked and having a ton of their upcoming films leak out online.
Written by the Doctor Strange and Prometheus scribe, Passengers is a described by Deadline as a science fiction romance that is set in deep space. The story takes place on giant spaceship that carries thousands of citizens on their way to a distant colony. When a sleep pod malfunctions, one passenger wakes up a full 90 years before anyone else, which basically means he’s going to grow old and die completely alone well before anyone else is there to join him. Instead of just living out his days by himself, he wakes up another of the travellers, which kicks off what definitely sounds like a different kind of love story. Despite the setting and premise, this seems like a small, intimate tale, with essentially two characters.
Sony reportedly emerged victorious in the bidding war (described as a “competitive situation”) with the rights to Passengers, though this isn’t the first time the script has caused a stir and sparked interest. After the Cannes Film Festival in 2012, The Weinstein Company purchased the rights for a good deal of money, and there were even all kinds of big stars attached to participate. Keanu Reeves was lined up for the male lead, while Reese Witherspoon, and later Rachel McAdams, were both linked to the female lead for a time. Brian Kirk, who has directed tons of high profile TV, like Game of Thrones, Dexter, and Boardwalk Empire, was attached to take the helm.
But for whatever reasons, the film never really progressed past this point, and when Passengers became available again, Sony’s Michael De Luca jumped on it. None of the folks previously mentioned are currently attached to the film in any way, but there is a powerful production team already in place. Neil Moritz (Total Recall) and Ori Marmur (Battle: Los Angeles) will produce the picture via their Original Film company, along with Stephen Hamel (John Wick) and Michael Maher (Europa Report).
Given the players involved, as well as the fact that there has already been a ton of interest in this script before, it will be interesting to see if Passengers is able to put together another collection of big name talent. You have to imagine that they most likely will. We’ll keep you posted at things get rolling.