“Passengers” Confirmed at AFM

THR is reporting that it was announced to (international) buyers that Rachel is confirmed to play the female lead in “Passengers” during the American Film Market. Director Brian Kirk is set to direct the movie and Jon Spaihts wrote the screenplay. Production is expected to start late February/early March in Germany next year and the aim is for a (late) 2014 release.

In May, distributors rushed to buy sci-fi epic Passengers when Witherspoon became attached to star opposite Keanu Reeves. The Weinstein Co. struck a multiterritory deal with Exclusive Media. But then Witherspoon dropped out. On the eve of AFM, it was announced that Rachel McAdams is now the female lead.

We should note that, like THR article mentions, Reese Witherspoon was attached and confirmed for the movie back in May at the Cannes market but later dropped out. Deadline broke the news that Rachel was in talks a few weeks ago and Rachel later confirmed herself the project was in talks/in the works. The production company Exclusive Media has a more in-depth plot description (with some possible spoilers!) of the movie on their official site.

On a colony ship carrying 5000 sleeping passengers to a new world, a malfunction awakens passenger Jim Preston (Reeves) ninety years too soon. Unable to get back into hibernation, Jim is doomed to live out his life alone on the massive ship.

After he’s tried every means to save himself, and exhausted the entertainments of the ship, Jim seeks solace among the hibernating passengers. There he sees the sleeping Aurora (McAdams), a beautiful writer whose books he finds in the ship’s library. Jim finds himself falling in love – and a terrible possibility presents itself: he could wake Aurora up.

Jim resists the temptation for nearly a year, but finally does the unforgivable. He wakes Aurora – dooming her, like himself, to spend the rest of her life stranded on the starship. He lets her believe her awakening, like his, was an accident. For a while, his dreams come true: real love blossoms between them, and Jim and Aurora fall into a passionate, magical affair.

The idyll ends when Arthur, the ship’s robotic bartender, spills the beans to Aurora: Jim woke her up deliberately. The revelation causes a devastating rift between the lovers – but in the midst of their quarrel, a greater crisis surfaces. The malfunction that woke Jim is only the tip of the iceberg: something is terribly wrong with the ship.

Facing the destruction of the starship and the loss of every soul on board, Jim and Aurora must bridge their differences and solve the mystery of the dying vessel. With the help of Gus, an ailing member of the crew, they battle weightlessness, vacuum, rampant breakdowns and a runaway fusion reactor in an epic tale of love and betrayal, life and death between the stars.