What happened to Passengers? It's nearing three months until its imminent release and all that has been revealed to the public are a few gifs, a new poster and images showcasing snippets of what this film may be. Marketing has just started for the $90 million blockbuster, which is fairly uncommon only few months before it premieres. Should we be worried? Will it be pushed back? Is there something wrong? The answer to all of these questions is a confident "No." Here are six reasons why you should still be excited for this possible awards contender:
1. It's An Original, Character-Driven, Science-Fiction Film
So, what is Passengers about? Without a trailer, chances are that general audiences don't know much.
On a routine journey through space to a new home, two passengers, sleeping in suspended animation, are awakened 90 years too early when their ship malfunctions. As Jim (Chris Pratt) and Aurora (Jennifer Lawrence) face living the rest of their lives on board, with every luxury they could ever ask for, they begin to fall for each other, unable to deny their intense attraction... until they discover the ship is in grave danger. With the lives of 5000 sleeping passengers at stake, only Jim and Aurora can save them all.
Knowing that this is a larger-scale epic than it seems, not much is known about the rest of the film, but one can expect that something does go wrong. In today's dry landscape of uninspired sequels and remakes, it is a delight to finally see an original sci-fi film starring two of the world's biggest movie stars.
2. Jennifer Lawrence
The fact that Jennifer Lawrence is a full-fledged star is undeniable. In less than a decade she has solidified herself as one of the most talented actresses on the planet. Within five years she has been nominated for four Academy Awards, with her most recent being David O. Russell's Joy, following her nomination and win for Silver Linings Playbook. The question is whether this film will add to her ever-growing resume of annual Oscar nominations.
In Passengers, Lawrence portrays Aurora, a writer who wants to be the first to recount her journey from the colony and back. She also shares her name with Sleeping Beauty. Coincidence? I think not. Outside of contracted franchises like The Hunger Games and X-Men, she chooses her projects very carefully. Her smaller, character-driven projects are often what gets her nominated, and that gives a lot of hope for Passengers.
3. Chris Pratt
Everybody loves themselves some Chris Pratt; it is hard to find anyone who doesn't. Audiences are missing their weekly dose of Andy Dwyer, and the fact that he killed it as Peter Quill and Owen Grady in Jurassic World makes them want more. Chris Pratt has yet to lead a character-oriented drama, and it will be interesting to see how he approaches this new feat. Chris Pratt is a comedic genius, and it may be hard for some to take his character seriously, but as shown in Guardians of the Galaxy, Pratt can nail emotion.
In Passengers, he plays the mechanic who wakes up before anyone else on the 120-year voyage. He leaves Earth hoping that he will be more useful with his profession on the colony. It is always pleasure to see those who are known most for their comedic chops to successfully transfer into more dramatic roles. Hopefully he can follow the footsteps of Jim Carrey and Robin Williams, becoming more than just the funny guy. It only gets better knowing that Pratt has a major role in Fuqua's The Magnificent Seven. Hey, maybe that's when the trailer will drop.
4. The Director Is Great And The Script Is Fantastic
Two years ago, Norwegian director Morten Tyldum made himself known with a film called The Imitation Game. The movie went to get nominated for a total of eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture. The look and direction of the film solidified Tyldum as an up-and-coming talent in the modern film industry.
Did you know that before Sony bought the project, Keanu Reeves and Reese Witherspoon were going to play the film's leads? The development of the project has become a lot different since then. After being part of 2007's Black List, one thing has not been changed: the quality of the screenplay. Many have already praised the early script from Prometheus' and Doctor Strange's Jon Spaihts (which has been online for a long while now) and the director whole-heartedly agrees. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly he expressed his enthusiasm for the material:
"It’s one of those stories that really grabs you and you fall in love with it. It’s very smart and funny and clever and such a page turner I couldn’t put it down. Every 10 pages, something new happens! At the same time it’s a very intimate movie while taking place on this epic scale."
5. It Just Might Be The Love Story Of The Generation
Titanic and The Notebook are what may come to mind to general audiences when asked about their favorite romance movies. For cinephiles, Lost in Translation, (500) Days of Summer and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind may be common answers. Director Morten Tyldum is very confident in his film and really believes this may become a romance classic. According to those who attended CinemaCon, Lawrence and Pratt have fantastic chemistry, relying on their characters and their dynamics to be the heart of the story. In the same interview with Entertainment Weekly he said:
"I honestly couldn’t ask for a better cast. They’re so great together, and both of them are so hard-working. They take the characters so seriously and bring so much to the roles with charm and intelligence and charisma. They really went for it and it is phenomenal to watch. [The movie is] not afraid to entertain but at the same time it asks big questions about what does it mean to really feel happy. Every generation has its love story. I feel like this is it. I had to do it."
6. It Will Make You Laugh, And Make You Cry
According to the director, this film is really, really funny. It is a relief to hear that this film will not be wasting the comedic talents between its two leads, but by then end you'll be crushed. This film is going to make a lot of people cry. This may just be a major awards contender, but remember that before you go into the theater, bring a load of tissues.
"You will laugh and cry and hold your breath and be at the edge of your seat. It has chills. It also will make you smile and laugh a lot. We wanted a playful movie. And if you have Chris and Jen it’s impossible not to have — they’ve come up with a lot of stuff on set. They’re both extremely funny. They’d try this and that and come up with really funny stuff. They can go very dramatic but their great chemistry — they’re just so good. It is just fun to be around them and fun to be on this journey. In this day of sequels and reboots I think it’s refreshing that it is a completely original story with two of the best movie stars in the world. I’m very, very happy with the movie."
Passengers is currently in post-production. It will be released in theaters on December 21, 2016.
To get ready for the sci-fi epic that is Passengers, check out some other great time-travel movies in the video below:
What do you think of this new poster?