Apparently, the mutants were the result of genetic manipulation which would allow the people to adapt to living on Tanis, but instead was wasted on adapting to scavenging on a spaceship. Does this mean that the survivors now might mutate themselves to live on Tanis? While they probably won't end up as cannibalistic albinos...
However, it was revealed that they had been aboard the ship for 923 years, and at least 900 of those years were after Gallo had gone Ax-Crazy - which means almost a millenia of evolution/psychosis and breeding had occurred - just think the Reavers, and that's about what you have for those on the ship.
So to answer the question, yes and no. The people we see won't mutate at all, but 10 or 15 generations down the line, their descendants will probably have evolved into a new species better adapted to that planet.
More like accelerated evolution.
A single hull breach (albeit a large one) causes all the cryotubes to eject. Shouldn't there be some sort of blast door that seals off the affected area instead? Come to think of it, why did the Elysium have a cryotube eject system at all after the first Pandorum incident? Ejecting in deep space would be suicide; even if Earth WAS still around, rescuing the colonists in time would be impossible.
Simple: It had a cryotube eject system in case the ship crash landed on Tanis, right? The real question is, ''Why wasn't the space ship capable of detecting that they were on Tanis in the first place, unless a hull breach occurred??
The ship may have detected it was under water and was waiting for someone from the flight crew to make the call - and we know how well the flight crew was doing...
Actually, the ending proves that the cryotubes ejection system is useful outside of deep space. Plus, the ejection of the cryotubes would make sense in this case, as the flight deck was destroyed. And it most probably did detect that they were on Tanis, because it did land itself. All of the systems are based on the assumption of an operating flight crew, thus they would wake everyone up. The flight deck being destroyed was simply the Godzilla Threshold where the ship's systems would eject the pods without the crew authorizing it because the crew is assumed to either be incapacitated or in no position to control the ship.
How could an Earth-Shattering Kaboom wipe out all of humanity if there were ships and colonies throughout the solar system? It would be more believable if some superweapon caused a supernova or some other Class X-2 event.
Where was it stated that there were ships and colonies throughout the solar system at the time?
There certainly were other deep space missions, the Eden flight was one after all. But there's no mention of other self-sufficient colonies. Tanis is described as unique. Hence, it's possible that the final message that reached Elysium came from one of these ships, where people could survive potentially for months or years, but would be doomed because there was nowhere to return.
How does anyone know what happened on board the Eden? There were no survivors, after all, and the ship's log most likely would not have had the level of detail discussed by characters on the Elysium.
It doesn't really say that were no survivors.
Even ordinary airplanes have black boxes that record everything that happens in the cockpit. Why on earth would a spaceship with a crew of 5000 lack this simple feature?
Surely over the course of several hundred years something would have happened outside of the ship to clue the people inside that they had landed - a minor earthquake, a wayward ocean current moving the ship, or if they had landed at a slight angle things wouldn't fall straight downwards etc - but obviously the artificial gravity is still operational, dampening the effects that happen to the outside of the ship to the inhabitants inside.
Actually, that would more likely be Fridge Logic - artificial gravity systems would require some source of power. Most of the film, however, revolves around Bower trying to reach the reactor specifically to restart it and restore power.
And the windows were probably covered like the window in the control room.
Why did the cannibals mutate as they did? Once woken a person doesn't ingest any more accelerants (if you pay attention there's a warning sticker on the cryo capsule not to ingest any more of the paste). ...Then it occurred to me. What did the cannibals eat? The hybernating crew... chock full of said accelerants, so they've ingested ever more of the stuff with each and every meal.
They obviously were living off the feed tubes of open hyper-sleep bunkers for generations like Bower is shown doing in a deleted scene.
Throughout the film, there is shown to be some kind of algea growing on the walls of the ship, foreshadowing that the ship was actually submerged.
And water was seen dripping from the ceiling in the hallways.
Seems awfully convenient that Bower of Team #5 woke up just in time to fix the nuclear reactor until you remember what he tells Payton at the beginning - since nobody else was in the room, the only way he could've woken up was if the flight computers did it. The same flight computers that could detect a problem with the reactor and, because Gallo stopped the original rotation at Team #4, would know that Bower was the next person available to fix it.
Corporal Gallo tries to convince Commander Payton to Abandon Ship, using the cryotubes as Escape Pods. Payton of course rejects this as being little better than suicide. As the finale demonstrates, that would actually have resolved the plot a fair bit sooner. Either Gallo was Right for the Wrong Reasons or he had figured it out on some level but was too Ax-Crazy to put it all together.
The implications of the scene where Leland shows Bower's group the "cave paintings" and explains what happened to the ship, as he's pieced it together: Gallo went crazy after learning that Earth was destroyed and the ship's crew was all that was left of humanity. As the only surviving flight crew member, he had total control of the ship's systems. Nihilistically believing that morality died along with Earth, and started waking up crewmembers from cryosleep to play sadistic "games" with them. Exactly what the "games" were isn't stated, but it's alluded that he drove the passengers mad like himself (the drawings show them with electic sparks around their heads and blood running down their noses) and convinced them to cannibalize each other. He tries to do this with Bower when he catches Pandorum with his "life eats life" speech. The Fridge Horror part is...compare how old Payton is in flashbacks/hallucinations to how old he is in the present; he was tormenting crewmembers for decades before even he got bored with it and froze himself again.
It's also shown that the first crewmember he wakes up after going crazy is female.
We know the technology to accelerate humans' evolution exists. The Earth seemed to be a Crapsack World, presumably because it's running out of resources and/or too polluted. Depending on just how bad the conditions were, it may actually be a merciful thing that the planet vanished, because if civilization is falling into a death spiral and a starving humanity gets reduced to savagery, any survivors with the chance to use such accelerants could have wound up evolving into Hunters deliberately to save their own hides.