Is Jennifer Lawrence going to space? Is Chris Pratt going … back to space? A new report has the duo in talks to head up the cast of Passengers, with Imitation Game director Morton Tyldum at the helm.
Passengers is set on a spacecraft in the future, with thousands of passengers making an interstellar voyage to a distant new planet. One passenger awakens from cryogenic sleep 90 years before anyone else and decides to wake up a female passenger, sparking the beginning of a love story.
Screenwriter Jon Spaihts (who wrote Prometheus) has since been tapped to pen the upcoming Doctor Strange movie. Passengers though, which made the 2007 screenplay Black List, has been in development for a few years, with Keanu Reeves, Reese Witherspoon, and Rachel McAdams dropping in and out of the cast as the project evolved.
Here’s what Spaihts had to say about his characters:
In particular, how do you keep your protaganists likable when they make unlikable choices? I know Passengers revolves around a guy who is the only person awake on a ship full of people in cryogenic suspension, and he makes a pretty selfish choice to wake a woman from cryosleep so he won’t be lonely any longer. How do you make him someone the audience will root for?
If your character does something indefensible and feels shame about that… well, who can’t connect to that? We’ve all done that. I think it’s easier to relate to that guy than to a paragon of virtue.
If your character sins and engages in denial or rationalization or other evasive behaviors… that’s human too.
What’s hard is relating to characters who seem to be fundamentally bad people: heartless, cruel, sadistic. Nobody likes a narcissist or a sociopath. But if your character’s a good person who’s done bad things… that’s a different matter. Many good stories start there. Sony bought the rights to Spaihts’ acclaimed screenplay in December after a number of other distributors tried developing it, including Dimension Films and Focus Features. Neal Moritz and Ori Marmur will produce the film through Moritz’s Original Film along with Michael Maher of Start Media and Stephen Hamel of Company Films.