Oh what a difference an Oscar nod makes! Just recently, The Imitation Game helmer Morten Tyldum found himself nominated for the Best Director Academy Award. And now, the prestigious honor of simply being on the shortlist appears to have sent his Hollywood stock rising, as Deadline reports that Sony is keen for him to direct Passengers.
Dubbed a sci-fi love story, the project’s been kicking around for a few years now. Penned by Doctor Strange and Prometheus scribe Jon Spaihts, it bears a compelling central premise, so it seems surprising this wasn’t already put into production:
Passengers takes place on a spacecraft transporting thousands of people to a distant colony planet and has a malfunction in one of its sleep chambers. As a result, a single passenger is awakened 90 years before anyone else. Faced with the prospect of growing old and dying alone, he eventually decides to wake up a second passenger, marking the beginning of what becomes a unique love story.
Originally in play over at The Weinstein Company, various attempts to urge it past early development failed to work. After its initial director – Game Of Thrones‘ Brian Kirk – exited, so did leads Keanu Reeves and Reese Witherspoon. Late last year, Sony snapped it up with production president Michael De Luca taking the reins for what’s been described as a “major studio priority.” On the production side of things, Original Films, Company Films and Start Media are all on board to get the project up and running.
With a new home for Passengers, the studio is reportedly excited to make this Tyldum’s second English language film and his Sony debut. It’s a shame that the previously-attached names – Reeves, Witherspoon and at one point Rachel McAdams – have bowed out. However, Sony is confident in beginning their work on the movie with a clean slate. Deadline goes on to add that the flick will “start from scratch on cast,” but promises the studio “will build a star package.”
What do you think of Tyldum’s potential new gig directing Passengers? And who would you like to see him direct? Let us know in the comments!