CinemaCon: ‘Passengers’ Panel and Footage Description

More from CinemaCon.  Passengers is a sci-fi romance film planned for the end of the year that will feature two of today’s biggest stars, JENNIFER LAWRENCE (Hunger Games, X-Men) and CHRIS PRATT (Guardians of the Galaxy, Jurassic World).  Sony Entertainment motion picture group held a presentation that showcased the first footage of the film as well as a panel consisting of the two star.  Check out the details below.

The general synopsis of Passengers sees the two leads on board the spacecraft Avalon for a 120-year journey to the Homestead Colony.  The events take a turn for the worst when a malfunction in the ship causes Pratt to awaken from his cryogenic sleep 90 years too early.  Not wanting to die old and alone he awakens the other passenger to accompany him.  While the characters could not be more different, they naturally begin to connect while on this journey.

Here’s what Sony’s chairman Tom Rothman had to say about the script:

“The original script for Passengers was as compelling as any one I’ve every read. To me it is both intimate and epic… and that required two exceptional actors, particularly given the emotional and action gauntlet that the characters must run… This is about two people who take a voyage to space knowing that they will never come back to their families again.” 

Each of the leads, in attendance, provided some insight about their characters as well.  Jennifer Lawrence described character as:

“My character is a writer in New York and she wants to be one of the first people to make the 120-year journey to another planet and come back and write about it. She’s very ambitious.”

Chris Pratt chimed in by stating that he is much different in the movie:

“Jim is a mechanic and he is the type of guy who fixes things. He uses his hands. But in the world we live in, when something breaks, you don’t fix something, you buy a new one. So he’s become obsolete and wants to travel to a distant planet, to a new world and distant future, hoping he’ll be useful.”

“As you can see,” Pratt said of Lawrence’s character, pushing on, “She’s glamorous, she’s from New York, she’s an intellect. I play a mechanic and am traveling on the cheapest ticket possible, which means I can pretty much eat oatmeal and live in a small cabin whereas she has fancy food and eggs Benedict and a beautiful cabin, so there is a bit of a [cultural] gap . . . but as our characters rely on each other, they grow very close.”

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Some footage was shown during the CinemaCon presentation (albeit with special effects that were still in the early stages) that showed off the Lawrence and Pratt in various stages of their budding relationship as well as giving those in attendance a hint at how visually stunning this movie might wind up being.  Here’s a description of the footage from Vanity Fair.

“[The footage] opened on a lonely, space abyss in a sleek, sterile-looking spacecraft. As Pratt explained, his character wakes up too soon during the 120-year voyage and is alone, as his over 2,000 fellow passengers remain asleep in their pods. We see him wandering through the aircraft solo for over a year, attempting to amuse himself and conversing with a lone robot bartender (Simon Pegg), who tells him, “You can’t get so hung up on where you’d rather be that you forget where you are. Every cloud is a silver lining.”

Cue Lawrence’s character, who awakes, confused, over a year into Pratt’s lonesome waking voyage. The two desperately try to figure out how to get out of the ship, or back in their pods—eventually giving up and deciding to have fun. They dress up and have a romantic date night. Sparks ensue, and Lawrence is seen climbing over a table in one scene to make out with Pratt. Another segment shows the two making out in the spacecraft’s pool.

One incredible sequence shows Lawrence swimming alone in that same pool when the spacecraft loses gravity. Although Rothman and Lawrence warned the audience that the effects in the footage were rough, the sequence was still breathtaking. Lawrence’s and Pratt’s characters, increasingly desperate and convinced they are “on a sinking ship,” figure out a way to get out of the craft and free float into space, but with no way of knowing whether they will survive.”

Passengers arrives in US theaters December 21, 2016.

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