Sci-fi romance Passengers adds Laurence Fishburne to cast

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Aug 8, 2015, 7:52 PM EDT (Updated)

A genre favorite is joining a star-studded cast in this long-developing original sci-fi project.

According to The Wrap, Laurence Fishburne has signed on to appear in Passengers, joining a cast topped by those two little-known actors Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence. Pratt and Lawrence play space travelers who are placed in deep cryogenic sleep for an interstellar voyage. When Pratt's character mysteriously wakes up halfway through the trip, he decides to revive Lawrence's character -- with unforeseen consequences.

Fishburne's role is unknown, but in addition to Pratt and Lawrence the cast also features Michael Sheen, who will apparently play a robot. The movie is being directed by Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game) from a script by Jon Spaihts (Doctor Strange) that had been kicking around Hollywood for years as one of the town's most esteemed unproduced screenplays.

Fishburne has been starring as FBI agent Jack Crawford on the now-canceled Hannibal for three seasons and will next be seen on the big screen in 2016's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, where he'll reprise the role of Perry White that he first played in 2013's Man of Steel.

He's been a genre favorite for a while, primarily due to playing Morpheus in The Matrix and its sequels, but his other sci-fi-related credits include Predators, Contagion, The Colony, The Signal and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, in which he voiced the title character (one of that movie's few good ideas). 

Of course, his very first sci-fi outing was also on a space crew in 1997's Event Horizon, and Passengers will mark his first time back on a spacecraft since then. Passengers arrives on Dec. 21, 2016.

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