If you’re going to be trapped in a tomb-like space shuttle for the rest of your life, you could do much worse for company than the likes of Jennifer Lawrence or Chris Pratt. You’d still be doomed to quietly hurtling toward infinity until you expired, but damn, you’d have fun on the way!
That’s the fantasy offered up in this first trailer for Passengers, the new and very highly anticipated sci-fi drama from director Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game). Pratt and Lawrence star as passengers on a transport ship called the Starship Avalon, which is on a 120-year journey to a distant colony called Homestead II. In a bout of very mixed luck, their hibernation chambers malfunction a full 90 years before they’re due to reach their destination; this mysterious mistake enables them to meet the most charming life partner possible, but also potentially robs them of more exciting, productive futures.
The film, from this first trailer, has echoes of space classics such as 2001: A Space Odyssey with its mundane life in space and potentially evil artificial intelligence system; Alien, with the sleep pods and action aboard the ship; and even more recent movies like The Martian, for its updated shuttle aesthetic.
The idea, which originated with a 2007 Black List script and once had Keanu Reeves and Reese Witherspoon attached, certainly had Pratt excited from the moment he read it.
“I just thought if this movie gets made with the two of us, with this story and with this director and we can execute this well,” the actor told Entertainment Weekly, “I really think it’s going to be one of the greatest, most original and compelling epic movies I’ve seen…maybe ever!”
Nothing like setting low expectations.
Passengers hits theaters on December 21.