Keanu Reeves’ Sci-Fi Romance ‘Passengers’ Heading to Focus Features (Exclusive)

 

The Weinstein Company let the project go after Reese Witherspoon and Rachel McAdams bowed out

Focus Features is riding to the rescue of “Passengers,” the upcoming Keanu Reeves film that was postponed this month after Rachel McAdams exited the project, an individual familiar with the situation told TheWrap.

A representative for Focus declined comment, as did producer Ben Browning.

In a splashy deal, The Weinstein Company acquired U.S. rights to the project out of Cannes last year, but TWC recently withdrew its involvement after Rachel McAdams left the project following Reese Witherspoon’s exit.

ocus Features is now close to signing a deal to handle domestic distribution, according to an individual with knowledge of the project.

Reeves stars as a passenger on a spacecraft transporting thousands of people to a distant planet. Due to a malfunction in a sleep chamber, he awakens years before anyone else. All alone on the vessel, he decides to wake up another passenger.

The script, which is being positioned as a sci-fi romance, is out to several prominent actresses and the film’s backers are confident that a replacement for McAdams will be found shortly.

“Game of Thrones” director Brian Kirk will make his feature directing debut from a script by “Prometheus” writer Jon Spaihts. Wayfare Entertaiment will finance and produce the film. Wayfare’s Ben Browning will produce with Reeves and Stephen Hamel.

“Passengers” will be produced and financed by Browning’s Wayfare Entertainment and Stephen Hamel’s Company Films, while Reeves will also produce. Production is slated to start later this year in Germany.

Heading into last year’s Cannes Film Festival, Exclusive Media’s international sales chief Alex Walton described “Passengers” as “big in terms of scale and ambition, and more than that, a big movie in terms of commercial potential.”

The deal with Focus is being negotiated by domestic sales agent CAA.

Source – The Wrap

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Keanu Reeves’ ‘Passengers’ Taken Off Calendar, Rachel McAdams Drops Out (Exclusive)

The Weinstein Co. was to have released the space epic next spring in the U.S., but complications made that impossible.

Keanu Reeves‘ space romance Passengers won’t hit theaters on April 3, 2015 after all. The independent project is also in the process of finding a new female lead after Rachel McAdams dropped out.

The Weinstein Co. acquired U.S. rights to the movie in one of the biggest deals of the 2013 Cannes Film Festival but pulled Passengers from its release calendar in recent days. Wayfare Films is financing and producing the movie alongside Company Films, the production shingle run by Reeves and Stephen Hamel.

With McAdams’ departure and the resulting production delay, The Weinstein Co. withdrew from the project, according to sources. CAA, which packaged the film and is handling domestic rights, will now shop Passengers to other U.S. distributors. Exclusive Media is representing international rights.

Insiders say Game of Thrones and Boardwalk Empire director Brian Kirk was set to start shooting Passengers in Germany on April 7, but the start date has been pushed back by at least several weeks, if not more.

Passengers, hoping to tap into the same success that Gravity enjoyed, stars Reeves as a colonist aboard a spacecraft carrying 5,000 sleeping passengers to a new world. After accidentally awakening and becoming lonely, he rouses Aurora. Falling in love, they eventually realize it is up to them to save everyone on the journey.

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