Whoa: Keanu Reeves' Super Expensive Space Romance 'Passengers' Is Back In Production

I have been obsessed with this man since I was 13 and there is no way I wouldn’t claw him like an angry bear if he tried to wake me up.

Making a 90 million dollar space romance is apparently an impossible dream. Or, perhaps — as in the case with Passengers — a “love story” where a guy stalks a girl while she’s in cryogenic sleep and then wakes her up because he gets bored is not exactly the sort of romance that a lot of people can get behind.

And that’s the premise for Passengers, a big-budget science fiction film that’s been in development for years. A mechanic (Keanu Reeves) is accidentally awakened 30 years into a 120 year voyage. He gets depressed and then wakes up “Aurora,” a spunky reporter who absolutely isn’t Lois Lane because she’s blonde and Amy Adams is busy. Instead of it being a quiet thoughtful movie like Moon, there’s a hilarious android bartender. Okay!

The film has had a couple of directors (the latest is Brian Kirk, a director for Game of Thrones) and several actresses rumored to star, most recently Rachel McAdams, who dropped out last week. When she left, The Weinstein Company, who had bought the rights in a bidding war after Morgan Creek dropped it, bowed out of the project as well. That was the closest the movie ever got to actually being made, with a release date of next year being announced.

Now The Wrap is reporting that a new company has taken interest:

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

Keanu Reeves has been attached to this thing since the beginning, as his production company Company Films developed the script. When I first heard the pitch for it (years ago), it had been described as everything from “Adam and Eve in Space!” to “Titanic in Space! But Not Everyone Dies!”, and I thought it sounded terrible. Then I saw Prometheus, which was written by the same guy who wrote Passengers, and lost pretty much all confidence that somehow the premise would be redeemed in the production.

A more accurate pitch, from the screenplay that was floating around the internet a while back, would probably be: “Wall-E, But With More Humping.”

Considering the rumor is that it might be signed on with a new distributor, and not that it is signed on with a new distributor, I have a little sliver of hope that it’ll keep getting shelved until Jon Spaihts is gently told that no person — man or woman — wants to be awakened from a deep sleep to find out they’re trapped in a spaceship with only a robot and an android bartender.