Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence to Star in ‘Passengers’
The science fiction love story Passengers has been in development for years. Keanu Reeves and Rachel McAdams were rumored to be attached to star at a certain point, but Sony Pictures has higher aspirations as they’ve locked in possibly the two biggest names in hollywood at the moment.
Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, fresh off of their massively successful franchises (Hunger Games, Jurassic World) and currently working on others (X-Men: Apocalypse, Guardians of the Galaxy 2), signed on to star in the sci-fi film with Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game) directing.
They’ve actually been keen to star in the film for months, but Sony was unwilling to give Tyldum the $100-plus million budget he needed to make it work. But after the success of Jurassic World, Sony has changed their minds realizing both Pratt and Lawrence have become A-list stars with box office results to back them up.
Passengers will command a $120 million price tag and the story is kind of brilliant. Taking place in the future, the movie follows a spacecraft making the journey to a new, distant planet. There are thousands of people aboard in cryogenic sleep, but one (Pratt) wakes up 90 years early. Rather than grow old and die alone, he opts to wake up a female passenger (Lawrence), sparking a relationship between the two.
As I wrote two weeks ago, expensive original sci-fi is a big risk for studios. But Sony is thinking more in line with Gravity and Interstellar, (more straight-forward space movies), rather than strange sci-fi fantasies like Jupiter Ascending and Tomorrowland.
Sony plans to start filming in the fall when the two stars busy schedules are open. Based on that shooting timeline, you can expect Passengers to hit theaters perhaps around Christmas time next year.
Fox Hires Rupert Wyatt to Direct ‘Gambit’ Movie
The X-Men franchise has certainly been revitalized after the success of X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Days of Future Past and Fox hasn’t wasted any time moving forward on sequels and spinoffs. X-Men: Apocalypse is currently filming as is the wildcard spinoff movie Deadpool with Ryan Reynolds starring.
But Fox has been eager to make another spinoff movie to perhaps the most popular character in the X-Men universe. Channing Tatum has been signed on to star as Gambit for a while, but they had yet to find a director. The wait is now over as they have hired Rupert Wyatt.
Wyatt previously worked with Fox when he made the surprisingly great Rise of the Planet of the Apes which was a rebirth for that series and essentially became Fox’s other profitable franchise. This experience no doubt convinced the higher ups at Fox that Wyatt was the right man for Gambit.
The character, also known as Remy LeBeau, is a New Orleans native with a penchant for gambling and turning objects, such as playing cards, into explosive weapons. He was previously played by Taylor Kitsch in the horrendous X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
Fox has been locked into a October 7, 2016 release date for a while now so landing Wyatt means production will probably begin shortly considering the amount of visual effects that will be needed on the film.
I’m more excited for Deadpool, but I can see Tatum doing Gambit justice. The X-Men franchise is in an upward trajectory right now and landing a rising star and director means they believe they have something with Gambit.
Michael Oher Says ‘The Blind Side’ Has Hurt His NFL Career
Clearly I’m a huge movie buff, but I don’t have time to see all of them. One such movie that seemingly everyone has seen except for me is The Blind Side. In fact, my family was so shocked that I hadn’t seen it, they went and bought me the Blu-ray which still sits on my shelf unwatched. Some day.
I bring it up because the subject of that movie, current NFL player Michael Oher, says that the Oscar-nominated film that supposedly depicted his life story has negatively affected his pro career.
Currently a left tackle with the Carolina Panthers, Oher was asked by reporters this week if he needed to prove himself after lackluster seasons in Baltimore and Tennessee. Oher disagreed about his past seasons and believes perception rather than reality is the reason behind his reputation as a bit of a disappointment.
“I’m not trying to prove anything,” Oher said to ESPN. “People look at me, and they take things away from me because of a movie. They don’t really see the skills and the kind of player I am.”
He went on to say, “This stuff, calling me a bust, people saying if I can play or not… that has nothing to do with football. It’s something else off the field. That’s why I don’t like that movie. That’s taken away from my football.”
The film followed Oher as a homeless African-American youngster from a broken home who was taken in by a wealthy white family. Along the way, Oher realized his true potential and in the process, the family perhaps learned something themselves.
The movie just looks unbearably schmalzy. Sandra Bullock did win an Oscar for her performance in the film, but it’s often regarded as a movie that not only didn’t deserve a Best Picture nomination, but also took liberties in portraying Oher’s abilities and intelligence to manipulate audience’s emotions to the overall story. It’s probably terrible and Oher’s comments only confirm my suspicions.