Ground Control to Major Tom. Check ignition and may Keanu Reeves be in someone else’s ship. Dammit, he’s in this one. We recently reported on Reeves returning to the sci-fi genre. I’m not going to lie to you, I cannot wait to see his directorial debut, the martial arts fest Man of Tai Chi, for reasons both unironic and, yes, ironic. But anyone is welcome in the sci-fi game, and The Matrix and — by extension — the Bill and Ted films are three of the most memorable films within the context of my life. (tears up)
Reese Witherspoon, however, has not been in any film that I hold dear to my heart, as much as I enjoyed Election and Freeway. In any case, she is in talks to join Reeves in Wayfare Entertainment’s Passengers, directed by Brian Kirk (Game of Thrones), with a screenplay written by the Prometheus screenwriter who isn’t Damon Lindelof (Jon Spaihts).
So far as I can tell, sci-fi just isn’t a genre that Reese Witherspoon gets into, other than voicing Ginormica in Monsters vs. Aliens. She is currently starring in Jeff Nichols’ off-kilter drama Mud with Matthew McConaughey, and has a couple of high-profile films coming out in Devil’s Knot, the drama about the West Memphis Three case, and Philippe Falardeau’s The Good Lie, in which she’ll play an American woman taking in a Sudanese refugee.
Passengers is about a gigantic transport ship filled with humans making the trip through space to begin the colonization of another planet. Reeves’ character wakes up 90 years too early due to equipment malfunction, and because dying alone in space is weird, he wakes up another passenger. This would be where Witherspoon comes in. It’ll be interesting to see just what the balance of sci-fi and strange romance will be, and by interesting, I mean awkward.
The film will start production in Montreal at some point, but we don’t know when. In the meantime, Man of Tai Chi comes out this Christmas. On a scale of one to one, how well does he direct himself?