Prometheus writer's long-delayed sci-fi movie finally coming to screen

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Jan 29, 2015, 11:46 AM EST (Updated)

For eight years, someone has been trying to make this movie.

The film is called Passengers, and the script by Jon Spaihts first caught the attention of Hollywood when it landed on the 2007 Black List, the annual survey of the best unproduced scripts circulating around the industry. 

Now, two years short of a decade later, Deadline reports that the film is moving forward under the Sony Pictures umbrella, with Morten Tyldum (who's currently nominated for an Oscar for The Imitation Game) hired to direct.

Spaihts' screenplay takes place aboard a spaceship that is transporting frozen human colonists to a far-flung planet on a trip that will take several hundred years. When one of the passengers is mysteriously awakened 90 years before the craft reaches its destination, he decides to wake up a second passenger -- a woman -- rather than face the decades ahead on his own.

Keanu Reeves was attached to the film for years, ever since the script first popped up in 2007, although he's no longer associated with it. Both Reese Witherspoon and Rachel McAdams were also in the mix for the female lead as the project bounced from the Weinstein Company to Focus Features and finally to Sony. There is no one in the cast at the moment.

Spaihts, meanwhile, had that funny Hollywood thing happen where the script that put him on the map ended up going unproduced while he got plenty of other work as a result of it. 

Although he's worked on things like 2011's The Darkest Hour, a reboot of The Mummy and a yet-to-be-realized remake of The Black Hole, Spaihts' most high-profile project so far has been Ridley Scott's Prometheus. His original draft of the script was called Alien: Engineers before Damon Lindelof came aboard and rewrote it extensively.

You can find Alien: Engineers online if you look for it -- folks in the know say it's better than the version we ended up seeing. Spaihts is now working on Doctor Strange for director Scott Derrickson and Marvel Studios, with that film scheduled to start shooting this spring. 

And oddly enough, the script that started it all for him eight years ago could be in front of the cameras at around the same time, if things go the right way. 

(via Slashfilm)