Jon Spaihts' long-delayed Passengers is after two major sci-fi stars

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Feb 9, 2015, 2:24 PM EST (Updated)

Passengers, the sci-fi love story from writer Jon Spaihts (PrometheusDoctor Strange) has been on Hollywood's radar for nearly a decade. After it landed on the 2007 Black List of the best unproduced screenplays that year, it was picked up for production by The Weinstein Company, and then Focus Features, but neither studio got it off the ground. For quite a while, Keanu Reeves was attached as the male lead, and Rachel McAdams and Reese Witherspoon were both up for the female lead, but even their star power couldn't make this film happen. 

Now, eight years after it first emerged, Passengers is finally looking like a good bet for production. In December, the project wound up at Sony Pictures, and last month Oscar-nominated director Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game) came on board. Now two huge genre stars are in negotiations for the leading roles, and if they commit, the film will pick up even more buzz.

The film is set on a spaceship where the passengers are in a cryogenic sleep for a journey that's supposted to take centuries. When one of the passengers, a man, wakes up 90 years before the voyage is supposed to be complete, he decides to awaken a woman to keep him company rather than face the decades alone. So, who will play these two lonesome passengers? According to The Wrap, Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt are both in talks to join the project.

Pratt had an absolutely stellar 2014 thanks to the success of Guardians of the Galaxy, and he's set to become an even bigger star later this year when Jurassic World hits theaters. He's also coming to the end of a TV commitment in NBC's Parks and Recreation, so more leading man roles on the big screen seem very likely. As for Lawrence, she's one of the biggest movie stars in the world thanks to The Hunger Games franchise. The last two installments in that four-film series claimed the title of highest-grossing film of the year in North America in 2013 and 2014, and the final film will likely achieve similar highs when it arrives this fall. The Wrap's report notes that Lawrence's particularly busy schedule, which includes the upcoming X-Men: Apocalypse, might stand in the way of a commitment from her, but for the moment, it seems she's the studio's choice.

So Spaihts' long-gestating script looks primed to make it to screen at last, and if this report holds up, it'll be doing it with two of the biggest sci-fi stars out there.

(Via The Wrap. Lawrence's involvement first reported by Variety.)