‘Passengers’ marks first visually-stunning film of the year

“It’s always good when you can create your own world,” says director Morten Tyldum, who creates a new vision of space travel in Passengers, touted to be the first visually stunning film of 2017. “I’m a huge sci-fi fan, and I also have such respect for the genre, so I wanted to try to do something that had never been done before.”

In the film, Aurora (Jennifer Lawrence) and Jim (Chris Pratt) are two strangers who are on a 120-year journey to another planet when their hibernation pods wake them 90 years too early. Jim and Aurora are forced to unravel the mystery behind the malfunction as the ship teeters on the brink of collapse, jeopardizing the lives of the passengers on the greatest mass migration in human history.

To achieve the film’s extraordinary look, the filmmakers – in Tyldum’s words – had “to both look forwards and backwards.” Looking to the future, they created a spaceship with an intricate design that uses the centrifugal force from spinning blades to create gravity, and contains the robots, holograms, and other technology that the future has in store. To that, Tyldum marries what he calls a “nostalgic design,” inspired by Art Deco, classic Hollywood, and World War II uniforms. “The past is with us – the past inspires us – and I wanted to have the past to be very present in the film. At the same time, it has robots, it’s a smart ship, it has screens, it has AI. By combining this, on a pure aesthetic level, a visual level, I think it’s unique. It feels very sci-fi, but also very grounded, very belonging to our world.”

To make this vision a reality, Tyldum turned to Guy Hendrix Dyas, an Oscar® nominee and BAFTA winner for his work with Christopher Nolan on Inception, and the designer of such varied films as Elizabeth: The Golden Age, Steve Jobs, and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Dyas feels he was born to design Passengers; in fact, he was the only designer that Tyldum interviewed for the job.

Since childhood, Dyas had dreamed of building a spaceship inside and out, and Passengers made that dream a reality. The result was a series of enormous, hugely memorable sets that brought the spaceship Avalon to life.

“We wanted to build as much as possible, because this is a character-driven movie, not a movie that is driven by special effects,” says Tyldum. “We have a lot of big spectacle scenes, some mind-blowing effects, but the driving force is the characters and the performances. To get those performances, I didn’t want Jen and Chris to act against green screens – I wanted to build as much as possible so they can actually feel and understand the space they’re in. I think it pays off because it feels more real.”

Producer Ori Marmur recalls, “No one involved in this movie has ever seen anything like these sets. One person walked on and said, ‘People are going to think your set is CG; they’re not going to believe you guys actually built this.’”

Now playing across the Philippines, Passengers is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International. Use the hashtag #Passengers

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Chris Pratt plays different kind of galactic guardian in ‘Passengers’

He has firmly secured himself as one of Hollywood’s most sought-after leading men with smash hits as Guardians of the Galaxy, Jurassic World and The Magnificent Seven. Now, Chris Pratt headlines Columbia Pictures’ new futuristic thriller Passengers opposite Jennifer Lawrence.

“Passengers is about two people who were supposed to be on the trip of a lifetime – the 120-year journey to a new planet – when they get woken up 90 years too early,” says Pratt. “But it turns out there’s a reason they woke up early. They have to solve the mystery of the malfunction, and fix a ship that is quickly failing, if they are going to survive and save the lives of the passengers on the greatest mass migration in human history.”

Pratt’s character, Jim, decides to give up his life on Earth for very practical reasons. “He’s kind of a throwback,” says Pratt, “very much a working class guy. He’s considered a desirable trade, as a mechanical engineer, because he’ll be helping to start a civilization. If something breaks, he’ll be there to fix it.”

When Jim and Aurora wake up 90 years before reaching that destination, those skills kick into high gear. “He’s a problem solver by trade, so he’s trying to figure out how to get back to sleep or contact somebody for help. And then, it turns out that there’s something very wrong with the ship.”

“Chris is very different than Jim,” says Lawrence, who plays his fellow awakened passenger, Aurora. “Jim acts like he’s never really had a girlfriend, and he doesn’t really know how to behave around women; that’s charming and sweet, but it’s not like Chris at all, who’s married and funny. It was interesting to watch him go from Chris Pratt to a shy, insecure, romantic person.”

Director Morten Tyldum says that it was apparent from the beginning that Lawrence and Pratt would be the perfect actors to bring Aurora and Jim to life. “It’s great that they are the biggest stars in the world, but first of all, I wanted to make sure that they were the right actors for these roles,” he says. “I had to get the feeling that they were going to click, that they would have chemistry. They’re very smart people who had a clear understanding of what they wanted the character to do. They really understood the choices, the motivations, the life these characters have to go through – so that made me feel that they really got it.”

“Passengers is an epic, in that it really has everything in one movie,” concludes Pratt. “It’s adventure, it’s romance, it’s a thriller, it’s scary, but it’s emotionally resonant. There are great moments of humor and spectacle.”

In 2015, Pratt headlined Jurassic World, which is the fourth highest grossing film of all time behind Avatar, Titanic, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. He will reprise his role of Owen Grady in the second installment of Jurassic World, set for a 2018 debut.

2014 was truly the year of Chris Pratt. He toplined Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, which was one of the top three grossing films of 2014 with over $770 million at the global box office. He will return to the role of Star Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which is scheduled for a May 2017 release. Plus, Pratt lent his vocal talents to the lead character, Emmett, in the enormously successful Warner Bros. animated feature The Lego Movie, which made over $400 million worldwide.

Opening across the Philippines on January 4, 2017, Passengers is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International. #Passengers

Michael Sheen plays android bartender in ‘Passengers’

He is known to millions as a vampire in the Twilight saga films and a werewolf in the Underworld franchise. Now, Michael Sheen now stars as Arthur, the android bartender on board the intergalactic spaceship in Columbia Pictures’ exciting new action-thrlller Passengers.

In the film, Aurora (Jennifer Lawrence) and Jim (Christ Pratt) are two strangers who are on a 120-year journey to another planet when their hibernation pods wake them 90 years too early. Jim and Aurora are forced to unravel the mystery behind the malfunction as the ship teeters on the brink of collapse, jeopardizing the lives of the passengers on the greatest mass migration in human history.

An android with a remarkably human upper half, Arthur moves with efficiency, grace, and skill, and responds to passengers’ worries and anxieties with a kind word and warm heart – if a little naïveté. “Arthur is an important element to their mental state, because he’s the closest thing to a human that they have besides each other,” says Lawrence.

“He’s programmed to be the greatest bartender ever,” says Michael Sheen. “He’s empathetic, he’s able to listen, and he mixes a fantastic martini. But there’s a limit to how much he’s interacted with people: he’s usually dealt with thousands of people in very short interactions, but he’s in new territory with Jim, interacting with one person for a very long period of time.”

So, because Arthur is not quite human, Sheen and director Morten Tyldum discussed just how to shade the performance subtly. “Bartenders are the ultimate confidants, and when Jim meets me, I am someone he can talk to,” says Sheen. “The challenge was I had to figure out the balance of how robotic and how human should Arthur be?”

That was an incredible challenge, one that Sheen rose to meet with a creative, technically difficult, and utterly believable performance, according to Tyldum. “Michael had to bring humanity to it, and at the same time, you have to understand that beneath the surface is a machine, without making it a cliché,” says the director. “There’s a naïveté and a wisdom to it at the same time. He becomes their friend, the one they talk to, the one who gives them advice. At the same time, there was such precision to the performance. He could never look at his hands while doing things, because a machine wouldn’t have to. He was mixing drinks, very casually and with no effort, and talking with incredible comedic timing. That’s incredibly hard, and he pulled it off so flawlessly.”

Part of Sheen’s performance came through a physical transformation, with the help of the on-set special effects team. The team designed a rig to move him swiftly back and forth behind the bar; with Sheen kneeling on the rig, the filmmakers could control his movement, like an android’s – later painting out Sheen’s legs and the rig with a robotic stand.

“The computer-driven rig had to move really smooth and really fast,” says Special Effects Coordinator Daniel Sudick. “We would record a move in sync and in speed with the camera on the computer, and be able to play it back with precision as many times as it is needed.” It took eight weeks for Sudick’s team to build the Arthur rig, and another three weeks to test it to make sure everything worked well together.

Of course, the role required Sheen to be prepared to move with a rig that would start and stop suddenly, without tensing or bracing his body and without revealing any discomfort in his facial expression. “When I accepted the role, I didn’t know what I was getting into,” says Sheen. “The special effects rig moved really fast, but was a great practical build as it made the performance feel more real.”

After production, the VFX department replaced the rig and Sheen’s lower half with the robotic design that controls the bartender’s movements. The result – Sheen’s performance combined with the effects wizardry – is a character that is fully part of the world of the film, according to Tyldum. “You never one moment stop believing that he actually is an android,” he says. “You are fully immersed in the fact that he’s not a human because Michael plays the nonhuman part so well, but at the same time you fall for him and you care for him so much. It’s such a wonderful performance.”

Opening across the Philippines on January 4, 2017, Passengers is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International. #Passengers

Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Pratt fall in love in a spaceship in ‘Passengers’

Best Director Oscar nominee Morten Tyldum follows up his The Imitation Game triumph with Columbia Pictures’ Passengers, an exciting action-thriller starring global superstars Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt.

In the film, Aurora (Lawrence) and Jim (Pratt) are two strangers who are on a 120-year journey to another planet when their hibernation pods wake them 90 years too early. Jim and Aurora are forced to unravel the mystery behind the malfunction as the ship teeters on the brink of collapse, jeopardizing the lives of the passengers on the greatest mass migration in human history.

Also starring Michael Sheen, Laurence Fishburne and Andy Garcia, Passengers is written by Jon Spaihts and produced by Neal H. Moritz, Stephen Hamel, Michael Maher, and Ori Marmur.

“It’s about characters who face extreme situations and have to make extreme choices, and I always find that fascinating – what would you have done?” says Tydum.

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Against the story of high stakes action, the filmmakers set a sensitive story of two passengers who find each other in this moment of peril. It’s a story that has attracted Hollywood for many years; writer Jon Spaihts’ script has landed on the “Black List” of the industry’s best unproduced screenplays. “One of the things that drew me to this script was the way Jon set an intimate story on such a large stage,” says producer Neal H. Moritz. “It’s an action film with epic spectacle, but it all hinges on these two incredible characters brought to life by Jen and Chris.”

Tyldum says that it was apparent from the beginning that Lawrence and Pratt would be the perfect actors to bring Aurora and Jim to life. “It’s great that they are the biggest stars in the world, but first of all, I wanted to make sure that they were the right actors for these roles,” he says. “I had to get the feeling that they were going to click, that they would have chemistry. We sat for many hours – I had a four-hour dinner with Jen – and I could immediately see that they would be perfect. They’re very smart people who had a clear understanding of what they wanted the character to do. They really understood the choices, the motivations, the life these characters have to go through – so that made me feel that they really got it.”

Producer Stephen Hamel was the first to team with writer Jon Spaihts on the concept. “I’m deeply interested in original content, original voices,” he says. “There was something rather playful in Jon’s writing that I loved – he took the time to allow the characters to be human, to have weaknesses. The originality of the story seemed really appropriate.”

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Ori Marmur, who works with Moritz at Original Film, agrees. “The screenplay is life-affirming and warm; it speaks to the human condition,” says Marmur. “And as a first-generation-born American, the idea of two people leaving Earth and traveling a great distance for opportunity elsewhere resonated with me personally; my parents traveled a great distance to come to this country of opportunity – they didn’t know anyone, and it worked out.”

Even with the film’s incredible action set-pieces, the filmmakers never lost sight of the movie they were making, says producer Neal H. Moritz. “We tried to keep the emotional stakes of this movie well-grounded, so it would not be overwhelmed by the gadgets, sets, and space,” he says. “Though obviously these are important aspects of the story, they are not the heart of the movie. At the heart of the movie is the relationship between these two characters.”

Opening across the Philippines on Sunday, January 8, 2017, Passengers is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International. #Passengers

Imagine Dragons launches new song ‘Levitate’ for sci-fi ‘Passengers’

Multi-platinum, GRAMMY® Award-winning rock band IMAGINE DRAGONS has released their song Levitate and is available for digital download and streaming via all participating digital retailers.

The song is featured in the upcoming Columbia Pictures film Passengers in Philippine cinemas January 8, 2017. Watch the official video of Levitate below.

From the director of the Oscar Best Picture nominee The Imitation Game and the screenwriter of Prometheus comes Columbia Pictures’ action-adventure Passengers starring Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt.

Aurora (Lawrence) and Jim (Pratt) are two passengers onboard a spaceship transporting them to a new life on another planet. The trip takes a deadly turn when their hibernation pods mysteriously wake them 90 years before they reach their destination. As they try to unravel the mystery behind the malfunction, they begin to fall for each other, unable to deny their intense attraction… only to be threatened by the imminent collapse of the ship and the discovery of the truth behind why they woke up.

Passengers is directed by Oscar-nominee Morten Tyldum, written by Jon Spaihts, produced by Neal H. Moritz, Stephen Hamel, Michael Maher and Ori Marmur.

The film also stars Michael Sheen (“Underworld” franchise) and Laurence Fishburne (“The Matrix” franchise).

Passengers is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International. Use the hashtag #Passengers

WATCH: Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Pratt in space limbo in first ‘Passengers’ trailer

From the director of the Oscar Best Picture nominee “The Imitation Game” and the screenwriter of “Prometheus” comes Columbia Pictures’ action-adventure “Passengers” starring Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt.

Check out the film’s newly released teaser trailer here below.

Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt are two passengers onboard a spaceship transporting them to a new life on another planet. The trip takes a deadly turn when their hibernation pods mysteriously wake them 90 years before they reach their destination. As Jim (Pratt) and Aurora (Lawrence) try to unravel the mystery behind the malfunction, they begin to fall for each other, unable to deny their intense attraction… only to be threatened by the imminent collapse of the ship and the discovery of the truth behind why they woke up.

“Passengers” is directed by Oscar-nominee Morten Tyldum, written by Jon Spaihts, produced by Neal H. Moritz, Stephen Hamel, Michael Maher and Ori Marmur.

The film also stars Michael Sheen (“Underworld” franchise) and Laurence Fishburne (“The Matrix” franchise).

Opening soon across the Philippines, “Passengers” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International. #Passengers

Chris Pratt-Jennifer Lawrence’s ‘Passengers’ gets first-look photo

From the director of the Oscar Best Picture nominee “The Imitation Game” and the screenwriter of “Prometheus” comes Columbia Pictures’ futuristic thriller “Passengers” starring Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt.

Take your first look at the lone official image that’s just been released by the studio.

In the film, on a routine journey through space to a new home, two passengers, sleeping in suspended animation, are awakened 90 years too early when their ship malfunctions. As Jim (Chris Pratt) and Aurora (Jennifer Lawrence) face living the rest of their lives on board, with every luxury they could ever ask for, they begin to fall for each other, unable to deny their intense attraction… until they discover the ship is in grave danger. With the lives of 5000 sleeping passengers at stake, only Jim and Aurora can save them all.

“Passengers” is directed by Oscar-nominee Morten Tyldum, written by Jon Spaihts, produced by Neal H. Moritz, Stephen Hamel, Michael Maher and Ori Marmur.

The film also stars Michael Sheen (“Underworld” franchise) and Laurence Fishburne (“The Matrix” franchise).

Opening across the Philippines in January 2017, “Passengers” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International. #passengers