The Weinstein Co. has acquired the rights to "Passengers," an upcoming sci-fi film starring Keanu Reeves and Reese Witherspoon, according to multiple individuals with knowledge of the deal. The movie won't begin filming for at least a few months, and TWC plans to release it next year.
Reeves will star 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 (Witherspoon).
The concept and script have been popular for a few years, but the package for it did not come together until the past few months with both Reeves and Witherspoon signing on in the past month and a half.
"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.
CAA handled the domestic rights while Exclusive Media is still shopping the movie overseas.
Headed into the festival Exclusive Media international sales chief Alex Walton described the movie as "big in terms of scale and ambition, and more than that, a big movie in terms of commercial potential."
The Weinstein Co. has bought into that, with Deadline, which first reported the acquisition, claiming that TWC paid several million for the rights with a much larger marketing commitment. The New York-based company already plopped down $6 million for Stephen Frears' "Philomena" and also acquired "Suite Francaise."