J-Law and Chris Pratt cash in big time as Sony Pictures moves ahead with Passengers

Jennifer Lawrence
Joe Seer/Shutterstock
Here’s the scenario: You and thousands of other earthlings are on a spaceship, bound for a distant world, when you are accidentally jarred out of cryosleep. It will be 90 years until you reach your destination and everyone else onboard will remain in suspended animation until you do. Do you A) Spend the rest of your natural life in utter boredom and despair, drifting through the cosmos completely alone or B) Wake someone else up and see what happens?

In the upcoming Sci-Fi Drama/Romance Passengers, Chris Pratt will portray Jim Preston, a character facing just such a dilemma. Ultimately, he chooses option B, and wakes up a young woman named Aurora, played by co-star Jennifer Lawrence.

The rarest of all Hollywood birds, Passengers is a big-budget blockbuster with (gasp!) an original script. Formerly a Weinstein & Co. property, Reese Witherspoon and Keanu Reeves were originally slated to star, but the once-modest budget ballooned quickly when two of Hollywood’s hottest properties signed on. The Hollywood Reporter indicates Pratt is set to make $12 million on the film, while Lawrence will earn $20 million, along with 30 percent of the film’s profits after it breaks even.

Not to mention that Morten Tyldum, who was nominated for an Oscar for his direction in the Imitation Game, is set to helm the film. Given his recent success, you can bet he won’t be cheap either.

As the film enters preproduction, it seems the stars may finally be aligning for a script whose fate once appeared to lie  — like many great ideas in Hollywood — in a state of perpetual limbo. The Jon Spaihts screenplay has started, stopped, and changed hands several times, but it is now one step closer to arriving on the big screen, and in a very big way.

Not without a few frayed nerves, however.

Famed for his frugality, Sony’s Motion Picture Chairman Tim Rothman was initially reluctant to greenlight the project. Rothman reportedly tried (unsuccessfully) to convince Tyldum to downsize its budget and was only sold on the risky property after other buyers emerged.

These days, the stakes are high for any original script, but they are higher still for one like Passengers, which is budgeted at a cool $150 million. Modern-day Hollywood is a finely-tuned machine, one whose favored fuel is a heady blend of sequels, reboots, and reimaginings. The more original scripts fail, the more execs will turn to retelling old tales and banking on built-in audiences.

We’ve got our fingers crossed for this one, as its success would likely mean more new, creative stories on the horizon.

While no one knows exactly what to expect from Passengers, a source offered THR the following elevator pitch: “Gravity with romance.”

Sounds like a winner to us! How about you?

Movies & TV

Marvel’s ‘Doctor Strange’ sequel conjures up a director and a release date

Doctor Strange director and co-writer Scott Derrickson will return to helm the Sorcerer Supreme's next big-screen adventure. Filming will begin in 2020, after Strange's mysterious Avengers: Endgame fate is resolved.
Movies & TV

Can't get enough lightsaber action? Here's how to get your Star Wars fix online

Few of us want to deal with DVDs or Blu-ray discs anymore. Unfortunately, the Star Wars movies are few and far between when it comes to streaming. If you want to watch Star Wars online, check out our guide on where to find the films online.
Gaming

Hey, Sony! If you make a PS2 Classic, it needs these games

158 million PS2 consoles were sold worldwide during its lifecycle, making it the most successful video game console of all time. It was hard, but we narrowed down the PS2's vast library of games. Here are the best PS2 games of all time.
Business

Chinese court upholds Qualcomm's complaint that Apple infringed on two patents

Apple is following the FTC's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.
Home Theater

What’s new on Netflix and what’s leaving in January 2019

Our complete list of what's new on Netflix for January 2019 and which titles will be removed will help you catch up on your bingeing, and also ensure you don't miss any titles heading into the streaming ether.
Movies & TV

Our first look at 'The Punisher' season 2 hints at January 2019 premiere

The Punisher is getting a second season on Netflix, with Jon Bernthal returning to play Marvel Comics' gun-toting antihero, Frank Castle. Here's everything we know about season 2 of The Punisher so far.
Movies & TV

'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse' is one of the hero's best movies ever

One of Spider-Man's most memorable big-screen adventures, animated feature Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse simultaneously feels like nothing we've ever seen before and a tale that feels familiar in all the best ways.
Movies & TV

Pedro Pascal officially cast as 'The Mandalorian' as Disney show fills out cast

The Mandalorian, Jon Favreau's live-action Star Wars series planned for Disney's streaming video service, will be one of the most expensive television shows ever made. Here's everything we know about it so far.
Movies & TV

A ‘Venom’ sequel is on its way, and Spider-Man could play a role

'Venom' screenwriter Jeff Pinker confirms that a follow-up to Sony's Spider-Man spin-off is in the works. Could a certain friendly neighborhood webslinger join the action? Pinker says that it's "not impossible."
Home Theater

‘Star Trek: Discovery’ season 2 gets a new, Spock-heavy trailer

CBS has released a new trailer for Star Trek: Discovery season 2, which premieres January 17 on CBS All Access. The new trailer features series newcomers Spock and Christopher Pike prominently.
Movies & TV

Netflix is testing an instant scene-replay feature, but would you use it?

Ever felt like Netflix was missing a scene-replay button? The company is currently trialing a feature that lets you skip back to the start of the scene you just watched, though early tests appear to be annoying some viewers.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Movies & TV

Celebrate the 25th anniversary of ‘The X-Files’ with the show’s 10 best episodes

The X-Files premiered 25 years ago, so here are the 10 best episodes of the award-winning sci-fi series. From alien-abduction drama to hilarious satires, these are the best episodes from all 11 seasons of the hit series.
Podcasts

Psychedelic 'Spider-Man,' Superman goes evil, 'Star Trek: Discovery' trailer

This week on Between the Streams, we'll talk about the wondrous, psychedelic adventure that is Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. We'll also discuss Dr. Strange 2, the freaky trailer for Brightburn (Superman goes evil?), and more.