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Theatrical release poster
Directed by Christian Alvart
Produced by Paul W. S. Anderson,
Jeremy Bolt,
Robert Kulzer
Written by Travis Milloy,
Christian Alvart
Starring Dennis Quaid,
Ben Foster
Music by Michl Britsch
Cinematography Wedigo von Schultzendorff
Editing by Philipp Stahl
Studio Constantin Film,
Impact Pictures
Distributed by Overture Films
Release date(s) September 25, 2009 (US)
October 2, 2009 (UK)[1]
Running time 108 minutes[2]
Country Germany,
United States
Language English
Budget US$40 million
Gross revenue $19,000,487 [3]

Pandorum is a 2009 science fiction horror film written by Travis Milloy and directed by Christian Alvart. The film stars Dennis Quaid and Ben Foster. Filming began in Berlin in August 2008. Pandorum was released on September 25, 2009 in the United States,[4] and on October 2, 2009 in the UK.



Two astronauts, Bower (Foster) and Payton (Quaid), wake up from suspended animation to find themselves alone, with no memory of who they are, what they are doing, or what has happened to the crew of their 60,000 passenger sleeper ship, the Elysium. They are unable to access the ship's bridge and cannot communicate with any other members of the crew, including the flight team they are supposed to relieve.[5] While exploring the spacecraft under Payton's radio guidance, Bower talks with Payton about Pandorum, a psychological condition brought on by extended periods of deep-space travel and hyper-sleep (suspended animation) and its symptoms and effects, including severe paranoia, vivid hallucinations, and homicidal tendencies.

As Bower explores on, he encounters dead bodies and fast-moving humanoid creatures. Escaping from one of them, he then encounters other human survivors, and they work together to reach the ship's nuclear reactor. The reactor will fail permanently if Bower does not reset it very soon. Moving on, the group encounters another survivor, Leland, who tells them the story of what had happened before they awakened. Their mission is revealed to be one of desperation. Earth, suffering from massive overpopulation, dispatched the sleeper ship and its crew on a 123-year voyage to a new, Earth-like planet called Tanis to create a settlement. When the ship receives one last message from Earth, informing them that Earth was no more and that they were the last survivors, one of the three crew members (as there are usually three flight crew active at any one shift) went insane, killed his other two crew mates, then played God by awakening most of the crew and doing what he pleased with them. When he grew bored of it, he went back into suspended animation and left the rest of the crew awake. Genetic augments that every crew member had received prior to the mission (for quick adaptation to the new planet) had instead adapted them to the ship, turning them into the cannibalistic monsters that Bower and the other survivors have been encountering. Leland then renders them unconscious with gas. Upon awakening they find themselves chained up with Leland about to kill them for food.

Meanwhile, Payton discovers another crew member, Gallo, who reveals that he was part of the flight crew that received the final message from Earth. But Gallo's account then diverges from what Bower had heard from the survivor. He claims that his other two crew mates suffered from an onset of Pandorum and that he was eventually obliged to kill them in self-defense. By now, most of the ship's population is either dead or mutated.

Bower manages to convince Leland to allow them to restart the ship's nuclear reactor. The group fights their way down to the reactor and Bower gets it online in the nick of time. While moving through the passenger hypersleep storage area, he sees the pod for Payton's wife, and his memories now allow him to realize that Payton is not who he says he is. Payton is actually Gallo, and the "Gallo" that the audience has been seeing, is actually just the other part of "Payton"'s consciousness (a representation of his younger self), and the man who has been calling himself Payton is in fact the aged Gallo, who was the one to succumb to Pandorum and kill his other two crew mates. The other survivor that Bower met earlier, Leland, finds his way to Payton/Gallo but is killed when Payton stabs him through the left eye with a sedative. Bower finds his way to the bridge. Gallo opens a window on the ceiling above them, to reveal a completely empty black void, devoid of stars. Gallo then starts to persuade Bower that he is the one who is suffering from pandorum. He then threatens to kill Bower, who then fights with Payton/Gallo while simultaneously battling the symptoms of Pandorum. During this fight sequence, Nadia and Bower look out the window into the seemingly empty space, but are then startled by a large, bioluminescent Manta Ray- like animal that swims by. It is then revealed that the ship has actually been sunken at the bottom of Tanis's ocean for 800 years now, having successfully arrived at the Earth-like planet of Tanis, their original destination, after 123 years of spaceflight. The ship's log shows the mission has been ongoing for a total of 923 years and it is now February of the year 3097. Bower accidently causes a hull breach, and soon water starts pouring in, drowning Payton/Gallo.

Bower escapes with the last known survivor Nadia by ejecting his hypersleep pod from the ship. The hull breach causes the ship's computer to initiate an emergency evacuation, ejecting the remaining 1211 hibernating and unmutated crew members onto the watery surface of Tanis, with its beautiful scenery and two moons visible in the sky, that is to be the new home for humanity.



Writer Travis Milloy wrote a spec script in which it was set on a prison ship and that the characters played by Antje Traue and Cung Le were prisoners, the Ben Foster's character was a non-prisoner not trusting anyone. The producers gave the script to director Christian Alvart, and he was surprised in that he was writing a similar script titled No Where, about four astronauts aboard a settler's ship with no memory of who they are. Alvart decided that they should combine the two scripts together, and the producers and Milloy agreed on that. Pandorum was announced in May 2008 with Dennis Quaid and Ben Foster in lead roles. Christian Alvart was attached to direct the film, based on a script by Travis Milloy. The film was financed by Constantin Film through a joint venture deal with subsidiary Impact Pictures.[6] The partnership helped fund the $40 million USD production, as Constantin drew subsidies from Germany's Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg (MBB) regional film fund, the German Federal Film Board (FFA), and the German Federal Film Fund (DFFF). The German Federal Film Fund provided $6 million USD to the production, the fund's second-largest 2008 payout, after $7.5 million USD for Ninja Assassin.[7][8] Filming took place at Babelsberg Studios in Potsdam in August 2008.[6][7]


Ben Foster, Cung Le, and Antje Traue talk about Pandorum at a panel discussion at WonderCon 2009.

Summit Entertainment is handling foreign sales and presented Pandorum to buyers at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival.[6] Overture Films will distribute Pandorum in North America, Icon in the United Kingdom and Australia, Svensk in Scandinavia, and Movie Eye in Japan. The film is set up as a possible franchise, so if it performs well Impact Pictures may greenlight one or more sequels. This is unlikely, however, because of the film's poor performance at the box office to date.[7]

The DVD and Blu-Ray release occurred on January 19, 2010 in the United States[9] over Anchor Bay Entertainment.[10]


The film received mostly negative to mixed reviews from critics. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports the film as holding a 30% approval rating.[11] The site's general consensus is that "While it might prove somewhat satisfying for devout sci-fi fans, Pandorum's bloated, derivative plot ultimately leaves it drifting in space."[11] At Metacritic, which judges on a 0-100 scale, the film holds a "generally unfavorable" score of 28 based on 13 reviews.[12] Science fiction magazine SFX was more positive, stating that "Pandorum is the finest interstellar horror in years", and awarding the film 4 stars out of 5.[13] Film Ireland also gave Pandorum a positive review, appreciating the film's synergy of cinematic techniques, set design, and developed characters.[14] Audience reaction was mostly positive at website Box Office Mojo; their polls report that on a scale of A+ to F, the average grade cinemagoers gave the film was B+.[3]

The film opened number 6 at the box office with weekend receipts totalling $4,424,126. As of March 4, 2010 (2010 -03-04), the film has grossed $19,089,710.[3]


Soundtrack by Michl Britsch
Released September 25, 2009
Recorded 2009
Genre Electronic
Length 71:06
Label Königskinder Schallplatten GmbH
Producer Michl Britsch

Track listing

  1. "All That Is Left of Us" (2:43)
  2. "Pandorum" (3:58)
  3. "Anti Riot" (4:17)
  4. "Shape" (2:03)
  5. "Hunting Party" (2:48)
  6. "Kulzer Complex" (4:40)
  7. "Tanis Probe Broadcast" (2:01)
  8. "Scars" (2:20)
  9. "Fucking Solidarity" (3:28)
  10. "Gallo's Birth" (2:22)
  11. "Biolab Attack" (2:25)
  12. "Kanyrna" (3:22)
  13. "The Stars All Look Alike" (4:32)
  14. "Boom" (3:55)
  15. "Reactor" (4:08)
  16. "Skin on Skin" (3:21)
  17. "Fight Fight Fight" (2:56)
  18. "Bower's Trip" (7:51)
  19. "Discovery / End Credits" (7:55)


External links



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