The Weinstein Company has acquired the U.S. rights to sci-fi romance movie, Passengers, starring Keanu Reeves and Reese Witherspoon.
The company has committed to a multi-million dollar guarantee and will spend a minimum $25 million on marketing the release. Wayfare Entertainment is financing and producing the film.
Developed by Reeves and Stephen Hamel at their Company Films, the script was written by Jon Spaihts (Prometheus). The film will be the feature directing debut of Irish TV director Brian Kirk (Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire).
Reeves plays a character aboard a spaceship destined for a faraway colony whose sleep chamber malfunctions and awakens him 90 years before the ship is due to arrive. Facing a solitary life and death in deep space, he wakes up a fellow passenger, played by Witherspoon, and a novel interstellar romance ensues.
Hamel and Wayfare CEO Ben Browning are producing. Start Media’s Michael Maher and Lynwood Spinks are onboard to executive produce. Exclusive Media is selling the project to foreign buyers in Cannes.
The Weinsteins have been busy on the Croisette this year. The company pre-bought the U.S. rights to the Michelle Williams starrer Suite Francaise, which starts shooting in June; and also inked a deal for Stephen Frears’ Philomena — starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan — paying $6.5 million for rights in the U.S., Canada and Spain.
The Weinstein Co. also grabbed North American rights to writer-director Jeremy Saulnier’s Blue Ruin, which is showing in the Directors’ Fortnight sidebar in Cannes.