One of the most impressive looking films that was presented at CinemaCon this year was an upcoming sci-fi thriller from Sony Pictures called Passengers. The movie stars Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, and the story is set in the distant future.
The story centers on a group of 5,228 people who are traveling across the universe in a ship to colonize a new planet. That planet is 120 years away from earth so the people are put into a hypersleep so that they can survive the journey. 30 years into the trip there’s some kind of malfunction, and two passengers wake up from their hypersleep. Unable to put themselves back in hypersleep, they are destined to live out the rest of their lives on this journey.
The footage we saw opens up with a starship called the Avalon floating through space. The planet it’s headed to is called Homestead 2. We get a look at the inside the ship, which is full of sleeping pods with people in them. The pods remind me of the sleeping pods in Aliens. The people are supposed to stay in those pods for the 120 year duration of the trip. Something goes wrong, though, and Pratt’s character, who is a useless mechanic back on earth, wakes up, and he’s going through the process of getting ready to meet the other people, only none of the other people are waking up. Pratt runs around the shop screaming “Hello!?”
He soon learns that he won't arrive at Homestead 2 for another 90 years. This is obviously a nightmarish situation and a mistake that can’t seem to be fixed. He’s stuck. Pratt starts to explore the ship and at one point tries to get a Latte Extreme, but because he bought a low-class ticket for the journey he has to settle for a plain ol’ black coffee. The Latte is for the premium passengers.
He later is briefly excited to come across a bartender type character played by Michael Sheen, but he quickly realizes the bartender is just an android. The whole scene here looks like it was inspired by Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining when Jack meets the ghost bartender for the first time. Pratt asks the android what happens if the sleep pods malfunction, and the android tells him that it can’t happen, and when Pratt tells the android that it did happen, the android replies, “It’s not possible for you to be here.”
After Pratt has lived on the vessel a little over a year by himself, one day he meets a woman who also just woke up early. That woman is played by Lawrence, a journalist from New York who would be the first person to travel to Homestead 2 and then back to earth and write about her experiences. When she sees Pratt she asks him if he knows what is going on. He gets her up to speed on the situation. She asks if there’s a way to get back into hibernation and he tells her there isn’t. “Everything is designed to keep us alive. I’ve tried everything.” When Lawrence finally excepts the harsh truth, she asks “What is there to do here?” and Pratt gives her a little smirk.
The footage then goes into a montage of shots from the film of the two eating dinner together, going to the movies, swimming, and more. They eventually find themselves in a cafeteria and Lawrence kinda throws herself at Pratt. She crawls over the table they are sitting at, and they start making out. It seems like everything is all well and good until there are more malfunctions with the ship and bad things start to happen. At one point they lose gravity while Lawrence is swimming in a pool and as she rises with the water she can’t swim out. It looked terrifying.
There’s then a series of very quick intense action shots. Until we get to a moment in which the two characters are standing on their ship in sapce. Later, they are in an airlock room, and Pratt is looking to save the other sleeping people on the ship. He says, “There has to be a way, there are 5,000 other people on this ship—we have to do this.” The airlock opens and they are sucked them into space and a fireball blows them out.
This movie look so freakin’ awesome, and it has everything we love about the moviegoing experience. Sci-fi, action, romance, drama, and more. The movie hits theaters on December 21st, and I can’t wait for you to see the first trailer when it’s released.