A THR report claims that Passengers is heading into pre-production with Sony Pictures chairman Tom Rothman spearheading the project, The Imitation Game director Morten Tyldum directing, and both Lawrence and Pratt on board with big payments.
Apparently Lawrence is set to receive $20 million against 30% of the movie’s profit – after it breaks even, while Pratt’s pay jumped from $10 million to $12 million thanks to Jurassic World‘s huge success.
Passengers, penned by Jon Spaihts (The Darkest Hour, Prometheus), is set on a spacecraft sometime in the future. As the ship makes it way to a distant planet, with thousands of people aboard in cryogenic sleep, one man (Pratt) wakes up 90 years before planned. He decides to wake up a female passenger (Lawrence) instead of being alone.
This one’s had quite the troubled path. The Weinstein Co. had it and then Focus Pictures was on board, while names such as Keanu Reeves, Reese Witherspoon and Rachel McAdams came and went. Although things look to be moving along now at Sony, it hasn’t been a smooth ride at the studio either.
Rothman was reportedly quite uncertain as to the big dollars Lawrence and Pratt were originally going to receive, even considering dropping the film altogether. According to THR:
Rothman wrestled with whether to greenlight it, put it in turnaround or place it with Jeff Robinov’s nascent Studio 8, which is partly owned by Sony and will distribute its films through the studio but has outside financial backing.”
Early June saw Rothman ask Tyldum to cut the film’s budget down to $90 million, but that didn’t fly. Producer Neal Moritz, with Warner Bros. and Universal showing interest, had other options.
Rothman apparently met with Robinov, who said Studio 8 was more than willing to go ahead with the film. Rothman then told the filmmakers they could take the film elsewhere if they so desired, but changed his mind when they settled on Studio 8.
It’s been quite the uphill climb getting Passengers to this point. Fingers crossed it was all worth it.