Keanu Reeves Sci-Fi Film ‘Passengers’ Gets a ‘Game of Thrones’ Director

Published 2 years ago by

keanu reeves passengers movie Keanu Reeves Sci Fi Film Passengers Gets a Game of Thrones Director

Screenwriter Jon Spaihts is fast becoming a key player in the contemporary sci-fi genre, so it’s worth highlighting his contribution to Passengers: an original drama – set aboard a futuristic spacecraft – that he scripted. Wayfare Entertainment (Sanctum) is producing and financing, with Keanu Reeves headlining, as the actor has been developing the project through his Company Films banner.

Passengers is now set to become the feature-length directing debut for Brian Kirk, an award-winning television veteran who has directed episodes on such acclaimed series as Dexter, Luther, Luck, Boardwalk Empire and Game of Thrones (with the addition of the Primetime Emmy-winning 2011 mini-series adaptation of Great Expectations).

Deadline, which has the exclusive on Kirk being hired, is reporting that Passengers takes place on an enormous spaceship, which is transporting thousands of humans to a distant planet. Everyone on the vessel is kept in a perfect state of suspended animation, untl one of the sleep chambers malfunctions and its inhabitant (Reeves) finds himself awakened 90 years before the journey will be finished.

day the earth stood still reviews Keanu Reeves Sci Fi Film Passengers Gets a Game of Thrones Director

Keanu Reeves in ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’

Reeves is no stranger to the sci-fi genre, but Passengers is a departure from his famous sci-f/action titles (insert Bill and Ted joke here), like The Matrix, as well as the somewhat infamous Johnny Mnemonic and Matrix sequels. Something like The Day the Earth Stood Still remake is probably a better comparison, just in terms of Reeves’ previous films.

However, there’s potential for a more emotionally-satisfying, thoughtful, and meditative sci-fi drama with Passengers than Day the Earth Stood Still (something like Duncan Jones’ Moon comes to mind), even before you take into account for how Reeves’ character decides to wake up a female passenger (the role hasn’t yet cast yet) for company, which begins “a unique love story.”

Movies like Solaris (both the 1972 and 2002 versions) have established that the space odyssey sub-genre can be a useful tool for telling a rich human story. The same goes for Moon, in addition to other recent films that have utilized fantastical sci-fi elements to explore a more authentic and emotionally-grounded relationship drama (see: Monsters); so, that bodes well for Passengers.

Prometheus Noomi Rapace Keanu Reeves Sci Fi Film Passengers Gets a Game of Thrones Director

Noomi Rapace in ‘Prometheus’

Spaihts, as it were, scripted the original Alien: Engineers script draft, before the relatively straight-forward Alien prequel was transformed by Damon Lindelof into the more ambitious (but less cohesive) Prometheus screenplay. Indeed, Spaiht’s big ideas haven’t been smoothly translated into excellent genre fare yet (see: the poor reception for The Darkest Hour, which Spaihts co-wrote), though, by having someone like Kirk at the helm, that might change with Passengers.

Moreover, his screenwriting to date shows promise, which accounts for why Disney recently decided to hire Spaihts to rewrite The Black Hole remake for director Joseph Kosinski (Oblivion); not to mention, Universal having recruited him to write The Mummy reboot, which is being put together by director Len Wiseman (Total Recall). Hence, if Passengers turns out well, that would bode all the better for the developing tentpole projects being written by Spaihts.


We’ll keep you posted on Passengers as more information becomes available.

Source: Deadline

Follow Sandy Schaefer on Twitter @feynmanguy
TAGS: Passengers
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  1. Interesting premise for a movie. This might be good.

    • Or it might turn into a disaster. Like his previous movies – Prometheus & Darkest Hour

      • Prometheus was a disaster? Since when?

        Even though Lindelof changed a lot of the plot, it was still a Top Five of 2012 movie.

        • I personally thought Promethues was kind of bad. It had a bucket of plot holes, but the action, visuals, and and action was good. I wouldn’t even put it on my top 20 of 2012.

  2. That was by far the greatest screenplay i’ve ever read. I’m so damn happy it’s finally getting made. Although i always pictured someone like Hayden Christensen in the role.

    • Same here! I read the passengers script a few years back and knew keanu was attached but never heard anything of it being green lit for production.

      • I read it back when he was first attached but i thought he was only meant to produce. I’m still totally psyched for it though. :D

  3. It sounds like a rehash of the Canadian 70′s TV show “The Starlost”.

    • Not really, Mikey – The Starlost was about a “generation ship” on which people were born, lived and died, and had forgotten the purpose of their mission. Similar to Robert Heinlein’s “Orphans Of The Sky”, or the Star Trek TOS episode “For The World Is Hollow And I Have Touched The Sky”. From what little I’ve heard about Passengers (man alone on vast ship with only robots for company), it sounds as though it’s got more in common with Bruce Dern’s isolation in Silent Running.

      • or Pandorum sans space-zombies?

        • I have to admit I still haven’t seen Pandorum!

          • hm, it was “ok”.
            I liked it, I bought the DVD, but still, I think it has its strong points, and its weaknesses.

            It has the same sort of creepy atmosphere as Alien (the 1st film) but it’s maybe trying a bit too hard?

            there seem to be story threads that don’t really resolve, or that are there pointlessly (for example “pandorum” itself, a supposed illness, never really makes all that much sense).

            • Sounds like it’s worth a go at least. Cheers – I’ll check it out with your reservations in mind.

            • It was hinted that the passengers caught Pandorum and were manipulated into becoming cannibals. Wiki and IMDB points out. A lot of people missed it.


  4. Are they remaking Pandorum now or what?

  5. Sounds interesting.

  6. How do I get in touch with the casting for this film. Or the director.

  7. Oh man. It’d be awesome if they put Sandra Bullock in the other lead. Maybe I’m just biased but they have amazing chemistry and she’s certainly proven herself in the sci fi genre with Gravity.

  8. I think Keanu will be great in this movie, he has that uncertainty and mysterious image the script requires. He still is largely attractive. Cannot wait to see the film