After much behind-the-scenes drama, the outer space sci-fi film Passengers, starring Chris Pratt and Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence, has finally been given the green light. This feature, said to be like a romantic version of Gravity, has had its share of changes and setbacks.
The screenplay by Jon Spaihts (Prometheus) has actually been around for a long time. Keanu Reeves and Reese Witherspoon were previously slated to star in the movie, when it was to be produced at another studio with a smaller budget.
The picture will not only have two of today’s hottest actors in leading roles, the talent behind the camera is impressive as well, with Morten Tyldum directing. Tyldum most recently directed the critically acclaimed Oscar-winning hit film The Imitation Game.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Tom Rothman, Sony’s new motion picture chairman, had a difficult decision to make with this big-budget project. It was being considered by a number of other studios, and Rothman found himself in a “potential ‘lose-lose scenario,’ because he was caught between placing a big wager on untested material—and setting a pay precedent that might haunt him in his new role—or passing on a project with two of the biggest stars in Hollywood. ”
One reason why this production is so expensive: the actors’ salaries. As everyone knows, big names don’t come cheaply, and few if any actresses are more in demand than Lawrence. The Hunger Games franchise is still going strong; she’s had several other hits in last few years; and she is returning for X-Men: Apocalypse, out next year. Chris Pratt quickly became an A-lister with Guardians of the Galaxy and now the mega-hit Jurassic World.
Passengers is scheduled to begin filming in September.