Passengers might be the most original sci-fi blockbuster in years

Film fans are getting a brand new Star Wars instalment in December – but Rogue One might not be the only sci-fi epic that gets people talking this Christmas.

The movies that sneak up on us without any fanfare have the potential to pleasantly surprise us the most, and Passengers, a new space saga starring Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt, looks set to steal some of Star Wars‘ thunder.

A new trailer has just landed for the romantic thriller, and it looks intriguing to say the least.

Here’s everything you need to know about Passengers.

It has been turning Hollywood heads for years

A highlight of 2007’s so-called Black List (an annual ranking of the most admired movie scripts yet to be acquired), Passengers had Keanu Reeves and Reese Witherspoon attached at one point.

The film eventually made its way to Sony where it was picked up by director Morten Tyldum.

With bankable stars Lawrence and Pratt ultimately leaping on board, it was finally given the green light.


The director has Oscar clout

Morten Tyldum is one of the most interesting and fast-rising filmmakers around, having already picked up an Academy Award nomination.

That nod came for 2014’s code-breaking drama The Imitation Gamethe Norwegian director’s first English language film – but before that he had also received considerable widespread acclaim for darkly comic thriller Headhunters.

With Tyldum at the helm, you’d expect assured direction.


It has a compelling hook

The plot sees the two protagonists trapped on a spaceship 90 years from their destination.

Their life support pods are the only two to have opened prematurely out of a crew of thousands, with their sense of isolation seemingly taking things in the direction you would expect.

It’s billed as a romance story essentially. Albeit a rather intense one.


But there’s more to it than that

The trailer starts off innocently, with Pratt and Lawrence enjoying a ‘date’, with only Michael Sheen’s robotic bartender Arthur for company. But things soon take a dramatic turn.

With Arthur malfunctioning, the spaceship losing power and all sorts of technological breakdowns, it seems the film could get a lot more action-packed after all.


It could tackle the ‘bigger questions’

All good sci-fi addresses the issues of the day, even if it is through a layer of heavy fantasy and spectacle. And Passengers could continue that trend.

In the trailer, Lawrence asks Pratt “Why did you give up your life on Earth?”, only to be met with a blank expression.

We’ll have to wait to hear the answer, but it hints at a more expansive narrative than just two stranded characters on a spaceship.

Passengers is set to be released in the UK on December 23


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