Passengers – the re-edit

This science fiction romance film isn’t bad as it is, but as others have noted, it does contain a fatal flaw. The twist in the film, where Chris Pratt’s character, Jim Preston, decides to wake up Jennifer Lawrence’s character, Aurora Lane, thus condemning her to live her life out with Jim on board the space ship, ruins the film for a lot of people. I wouldn’t say that’s the problem (makes for good, creepy conflict), rather it’s the fact that it is revealed way too early. With that in mind, I did a re-edit that enables the twist to be revealed much later and for the film to play out in a more interesting way. Here’s what I did…

About thirty minutes into the film, Jim is at the end of his tether. He collapses onto the floor of the space ship in a fetal position. This is just before he sees Aurora in her sleep tube and develops his plan to wake her up. What I do at this point is I FADE TO BLACK when Jim is lying on the floor.

Next, we see Jim shaving in his bathroom and saying to himself, “Please don’t do this?” Do what? we ask. Kill himself? What?

Then I CUT to the EXTERIOR SHOT of the ship, just before we see Jim walking through the ship, suddenly coming upon Aurora, who seems to have been woken up by the ship’s faulty system in the same way as was Jim.

The film plays out from here the same as the original cut, at least for a while. Jim and Aurora get to know each other, which leads to intimacy. It’s interesting this way if we don’t know about Jim’s betrayal because it makes the reveal, when it comes, that more shocking. And the reveal happens when the bartender character inadvertently blabs what Jim did to Aurora.

It’s at this point that I include a brief INSERT of Jim’s doing just that – the scene where he opens Aurora’s pod, which we saw earlier in the original cut of the film. We then CUT back to Aurora’s horrified response, and the story continues from then on as it did in the original cut.

All in all, in my opinion, a better way to tell the story.