[Update: Sony has reached out to inform us that this is in fact not a true trailer for Passengers, but is instead a song tease. That explains the awkward fit.]
Sony Pictures has unveiled a new promo for the upcoming sci-fi film Passengers, and, well, it’s not great. The film itself does seem enticing—Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt play a pair of passengers aboard a spaceship that is traveling towards a new life on a new planet who are suddenly woken up from hypersleep 90 years too early. And everyone is raving about the original screenplay by Jon Spaihts. But from a marketing perspective, it feels like Sony hasn’t really figured out how to sell this quite yet.
This promo is a showcase for what appears to be an original song by Imagine Dragons called “Levitate”, but the goofy/awful nature of the song itself combined with the seemingly random array of imagery (Spaceship! Dance break! Kissing!) makes for an awkward watch.
Indeed, previous trailers and TV spots have sold Passengers as, separately, a disaster actioner led by a heroic Chris Pratt in space, a quirky romantic comedy set in space, a sexy romance set in space, and a mystery thriller set in space. Basically, aside from “set in space”, this film has been marketed a variety of different ways, and it’s unclear which of these it actually is. In truth, it’s probably a combination of all of the above, and if that’s the case then its success or failure will ride on director Morten Tyldum’s ability to balance the tone.
We’ll find out in due time, but for now take a look at the new promo below. Passengers opens in theaters on December 21st.