Back in 2007, a sci-fi script by Jon Spaihts landed on the Black List, an annual roundup of some of the best unproduced scripts in Hollywood. For years, Passengers bounced around Hollywood — at one point Keanu Reeves and Reese Witherspoon were attached to the project — and amid all the behind-the-scenes drama, the only thing anyone could agree on was that this script was apparently really, really good.
Now, Passengers is finally hitting the big screen, starring Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence as two, well, passengers on an interstellar journey spanning more than a century. Their spaceship is bound for a distant colony planet, but Pratt and Lawrence unexpectedly wake up only 30 years into their 120-year journey.
With Passengers coming to theaters in December, Pratt sat down during a recent SiriusXM Town Hall to talk about what drew him to the project. Spoiler alert: It was Spaihts’ script.
“I’m really excited for people to see it,” Pratt said. “It was maybe the best script I had ever read. John Spaihts wrote the script, and it was just so great.”
Pratt added that he shot Passengers immediately after his shoot-’em-up Western The Magnificent Seven (out Friday), and it took a bit of adjusting to go from the dusty Wild West to the stark cleanliness of a spaceship.
“I’m still pulling dirt out of places,” he said. “It took a lot of hosing. There was plenty of dirt, trust me. That was dusty.”
Passengers hits theaters on Dec. 21.