It’s hard to deny that two of the biggest box office stars at the moment are Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt. The two have been involved in their fair share of tentpole projects; Lawrence broke out in the Hunger Games series and starred as Mystique in the recent X-Men films, while Pratt was the face of mega hits Guardians of the Galaxy and Jurassic World. They don’t even need the allure of a franchise to draw in crowds. Lawrence’s Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle both made over $100 million, and Pratt is part of the Magnificent Seven remake that’s one of the most anticipated films of the fall. A project that saw Pratt and Lawrence join forces would generate substantial interest.
The ultra likable leads are working together in the new film Passengers from The Imitation Game director Morten Tyldum. In it, they play passengers on a spacecraft traveling to a distant planet. On the journey, their hibernation pods malfunction and they are awoken 90 years before they reach their destination. Sony debuted footage from the film at CinemaCon back in April, which was well-received. Now, they’ve released an official trailer, which you can watch above.
Here is the official synopsis for Passengers:
Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt are two passengers onboard a spaceship transporting them to a new life on another planet. The trip takes a deadly turn when their hibernation pods mysteriously wake them 90 years before they reach their destination. As Jim and Aurora try to unravel the mystery behind the malfunction, they begin to fall for each other, unable to deny their intense attraction… only to be threatened by the imminent collapse of the ship and the discovery of the truth behind why they woke up.
The trailer begins setting a playful tone as Pratt’s Jim Preston uses a robot to ask Lawrence’s Aurora out on a date. Things then get serious when Aurora poses the question, “Why did you give up your life on Earth?” Both actors are known for their strong sense of humor, but they can also knock out an emotional scene or two. The crux of Passengers seems to be watching these two characters deal with a harrowing and unfortunate situation, since they cannot go back into their hibernation pods for the remainder of the trip. Jim and Aurora set out with the hopes of a new beginning, and now they might regret that decision.
In terms of technicality, Passengers looks like a massive evolution for Tyldum, who was nominated for Best Director for his work on Imitation Game. The sci-fi romance is a stark contrast from a World War II period piece and looks to balance character drama with genre thrills. Portions of the trailer deal with the entire ship malfunctioning and threatening to blow, forcing the two newfound lovers to fight for survival. It’s an effects heavy production and looks visually stunning. Audiences should be interested to explore the world of the Avalon, and with Pratt and Lawrence as their guide, it should be a treat to watch up on the big screen. In addition, there’s an intriguing mystery element with the reason for the pods opening kept under wraps.
Passengers should also prove to be an interesting box office case study. It’s an original property opening just five days after Rogue One: A Star Wars Story premieres and will face off against Assassin’s Creed and Illumination’s latest animated film Sing. Sony put $120 million into the production budget, so the studio must be confident in its ability to draw in audiences. The screenplay by Jon Spaihts has earned high marks from those who have read it, and it stars two of the surest commercial locks in this era. As long as the word-of-mouth is there, Passengers should find financial success, and maybe earn an Oscar nomination or two.
Passengers opens in theaters December 21, 2016.
Source: Sony Pictures