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SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains massive spoilers for Passengers. If you have not yet seen the film, and don't wish to know details about its ending, please save this page and come back after your screening!
Passengers has only been in theaters for a little over a day now, but its ending has already stirred up a good bit of controversy. Most of the movie presents a serious ethical and moral dilemma for its main characters -- with Jim (Chris Pratt) murdering Aurora (Jennifer Lawrence) by waking her up in the middle of an interstellar space flight -- but the way the story chooses to conclude hasn't been well-received by critics. Curious about the creative decisions that were made, I recently asked director Morten Tyldum if there were discussions about alternative endings for the narrative -- but he explained why he feels it needed to end the way that it does.
I sat down with the Oscar-nominated filmmaker during the Los Angeles press day for Passengers earlier this month, and it was with my last question that I dived deep into spoiler territory and asked about alternative directions for the ending. Specifically referring to Aurora's decision not to hibernate in the medpod and forgive Jim, Morten Tyldum said,
The film's defense for Aurora's forgiveness for Jim seems to simply be the fact that living through so much chaos brought them together -- but there are still loud voices explaining why this isn't fully satisfactory, as what Jim does is entirely selfish and horrible. Of course, just because the last shot of the film paints a pretty picture for their end doesn't mean that their lives together were entirely perfect.
As Morten Tyldum went on to explain to me in our interview, this kind of questioning about the ending is actually something that he wanted to invite amongst movie-goers that see Passengers. He even went as far as to cut off an extra scene in the film featuring Andy Garcia because he wanted to keep things open-ended and have people talking on the way home from the theater. He explained,
Passengers most certainly is going to invite a lot of conversation -- and we invite you to head down to our comments section below to participate in just that!