- Acting for Two: Chris Edgerly voices a radio DJ and the Infomat.
- Billing Displacement: Jennifer Lawrence is given top billing for this film even though Chris Pratt plays the protagonist and, indeed, carries the first half hour on his own.
- Box Office Bomb: Domestically at least. Budget, $110 million. Box office, $100,014,699 (domestic), $303,144,152 (worldwide). Its failure led to producer Neal H. Moritz taking his first-look contract to Paramount the following year, also costing Sony the movie rights to Sonic the Hedgehog after they shut production down on that film.
- Executive Meddling: Sony chief Tom Rothman got into a spat with producer Neal Moritz over the film's high budget, which Rothman wanted to limit to $80 million but backed off when Moritz threatened to invoke his right to sell the project to another studio. When the movie bombed, Moritz, already disillusioned by the studio's executive turmoil in the aftermath of their massive cyber attack, decided to quit Sony almost a year later and found a new first look contract at Paramount, ironically now led by fellow ex-Fox chairman and former Rothman rival Jim Gianopulos.
- Playing with Character Type: Jim is notably far more serious and sensitive than Chris Pratt's usual Deadpan Snarker Manchild characters. Of course he's still the lead in a blockbuster, so it's not radically different.
- Throw It In!: According to interviews, it wasn't until they were filming the First Kiss scene that Chris and Jennifer discovered the bulky spacesuits they were wearing at the time made it physically impossible for her lips to reach his. Their reactions were in-character enough to make the final cut.
- What Could Have Been:
- Keanu Reeves was attached to star as Jim for ages. He dropped out and was replaced with Chris Pratt. At various points in development Reese Witherspoon, Emily Blunt and Rachel McAdams were all attached to star before Jennifer Lawrence played Aurora.
- The third act and the ending from the original script are very different from the movie itself, going into Darker and Edgier territory:
- In the original script, Gus had been ferrying colonists for 600 years and the post-hibernation illness is highly prevalent, making his death a lot more impactful. And instead of just passing away, he decided to take his own life by letting himself fall into the vacuum of space through the airlock, though not before leaving important information to Jim and Aurora on fixing the ship.
- At least a hint to this made it into the final script, as Gus mentions that he always feels sick after waking up from hibernation. Which implies that he has been doing this for a very, very long time and already knew that repeated hibernation has severe consequences for the health. Which, in turn, might also explain why it is so hard to be put back to sleep without extensive treatment.
- Also in the original script, Jim and Aurora are able to get the ship to reboot, and the hibernation pods, which still contain 5000 passengers, begin to unexpectedly eject from the Starliner as the ship believes its in port and in dry dock procedure. Jim runs down to the hibernation bay to try to stop it, working on one of the containment units as the pods in the distance eject, quickly approaching him. He tries, but is too late. He runs to the crew hibernation pod facility and is able to turn on the opening procedure on the captains pod before its ejected. The Captain opens his eyes, just before the pod ejects out into space.
- There's a more reasonable explanation for Aurora's decision to stay with Jim despite his actions earlier. Because of the events above, she and Jim are the only survivors in the ship and had Jim not awakened her, she would be in those unfortunate pods that had drifted into space.
- Earlier in the script, Aurora finds the gene bank aboard the Starliner, containing five thousand sperm and egg samples on ice. Though this was not explained well in the script, it sort of serves as a Chekhov's Gun which Jim and Aurora use to repopulate the ship, as seen in the Time Skip ending where people from different age groups got out of the ship after they have landed at Homestead II.
Trivia / Passengers (2016)