After news that Morten Tyldum’s upcoming sci-fi film Passengers, starring Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, was likely to be delayed in its coming, the movie has now received the green light from Sony to move forward with pre-production.
Passenger centers around the story of two people (Pratt and Lawrence) who fall in love in space while the rest of the crew on the spaceship remain in suspended animation. Along with two of Hollywood’s hottest actors at the moment set to star in the film, Tyldum is coming off his latest award-winning film, The Imitation Game.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the initial delay in production came after Tom Rothman, Sony Picture’s new chairman, was not sold on the idea on risking $150 million on a project he inherited after recently taking the position at Sony. Although the film is likely to be at least somewhat successful given the actors involved, it isn’t the typical franchise series that most studios seek when fronting this kind of money.
At the same time, another risk to the film’s survival centered on paying its two main stars such a large amount of money. Lawrence is asking for $20 million, along with 30 percent of profit, to appear in the movie, while Pratt is expected to receive around $12 million for his part. After Tyldum’s fees were added into the equation, the budget for the movie surpassed the $100 million mark, which was more than the $90 million budget Roth had wanted the film to stay under.
However, following the success of Jurassic World, which set box-office records with over $500 million earned worldwide, it seems as though the studio is ready to take on the risks associated with the film, according to Deadline. With the studio reportedly getting Village Roadshow and LStar to take care of around 75 percent of the budget, Sony is betting that Pratt’s recent rise to stardom coupled with Lawrence’s avid fan base will help the movie be a hit success.
Interestingly, with all the back and forth Passengers has been through over the past year, the film was at one time a project with Weinstein Co. and was set to star Keanu Reeves and Reese Witherspoon. However, the film’s budget back then was a mere $35 million compared to the handsome $150 million budget it has grown into.
Filming for Passengers is expected to begin sometime in September 2015. An official release date has not been set.
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