Voyagers (film)

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Theatrical release poster
Directed byNeil Burger
Written byNeil Burger
Produced by
CinematographyEnrique Chediak
Edited byNaomi Geraghty
Music byTrevor Gureckis
Distributed byLionsgate
Release date
  • April 9, 2021 (2021-04-09)
Running time
108 minutes
CountryUnited States[1]
Budget$29 million[2]
Box office$4.2 million[3][1]

Voyagers is a 2021 American science fiction film written, co-produced and directed by Neil Burger.[4] It stars Tye Sheridan, Lily-Rose Depp, Fionn Whitehead, Colin Farrell, Chanté Adams, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Viveik Kalra, Archie Renaux, Archie Madekwe, and Quintessa Swindell, and follows a group of teenage astronauts sent on a multi-generational mission in the year 2063 to colonize a habitable exoplanet amidst runaway climate change and declining habitability on Earth, who descend into paranoia and social conflict after discovering that their personalities and emotions were being artificially suppressed. It has been described as "Lord of the Flies in space". The film was theatrically released on April 9, 2021 by Lionsgate and was a box office bomb, grossing US$4.2 million[3][1] against a $29 million production budget.[2][5]


In 2063, astrophysicists on a climate-change-ravaged Earth find a habitable planet. A scouting mission is sent, although the 86-year flight means that the grandchildren of the launch crew astronauts will be the ones who reach the planet. To help the launch crew cope with the knowledge that their remaining lives will likely be spent mostly in flight, the original 30 are bred through IVF and kept in isolation from the rest of the world. In order to extend their time in flight, they are launched on the Humanitas spaceship as pre-teens, with a single adult, senior program commander Richard, to guide them through the early part of the journey. To conserve resources, the plan is for IVF to be performed when the crew turns 24, to be repeated on those offspring when they turn 24.

During the tenth year of the flight, Christopher and Zac discover that the grown teenagers are being given a blue chemical in their food to suppress sex drive and pleasure response, keeping them all docile and manageable. The pair stops taking the chemical, and their surging hormones drive them to become competitive, careless, and anxious to engage in sexual relations, specifically with their crew mate Sela, who has been trained to be the chief medical officer.

During a repair effort outside the Humanitas to address a failed Earth communication system, Richard, who has been serving as chief officer, is killed, apparently by an unseen entity, and a fire damages more ship systems. Christopher is voted the new chief officer, which upsets Zac, who then tells the others to stop ingesting the chemical. The mission descends into madness, as many of the young men and women revert to their most primal state.

Zac tells the others that an alien killed Richard, that he will protect them and let them eat all the (closely conserved) food they want, and convinces all but five to follow him rather than Christopher. Christopher and Sela, who have become a couple, find and repair a video disk that reveals that Zac killed Richard, precipitating the further systems damage, by turning on the electricity to the communications array while Richard was working on it. They show the others, but Zac still convinces many that an alien is inhabiting one of them, leading many to follow Zac in vigilante murders of anyone he targets.

Christopher inadvertently leads Zac to a hidden compartment on the ship, which proves to be weapons for their grandchildren to use on the planet. Christopher, Sela, and Phoebe are the only holdouts. Phoebe is killed, and the pack searches for Christopher and Sela. The pair tricks Zac into being ejected into space, and peace returns to Humanitas. Sela is then voted chief officer. The crew decides to permanently forgo the blue chemical and learn to manage their natural emotions, as well as falling in love and having children naturally, instead of via IVF as had been originally planned.

Decades later, Humanitas and its multi-generational crew arrive at the planet, which appears from orbit to be as earth-like as had been hoped.



The project was announced in January 2019, with Neil Burger serving as the writer and director of the movie. The film was widely described by critics and the staff as being "Lord of the Flies in space".[6]

In April 2019, Colin Farrell, Tye Sheridan, Lily-Rose Depp, and Fionn Whitehead were cast as main characters in the film, with filming due to begin in Romania in June.[7]

In June 2019, Viveik Kalra, Quintessa Swindell, Archie Madekwe, and Archie Renaux joined the cast of the film as supporting characters, with Lionsgate being chosen as the film's distributor.[8]

Principal photography was to begin in Romania on 17 June 2019.[9]



Voyagers was originally scheduled to be released on November 25, 2020,[10] but its schedule was significantly delayed due to the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, which negatively impacted the production of a substantial number of movies.[11] It was subsequently rescheduled to be released on April 9, 2021.[12]

Box office[edit]

In United States and Canada, Voyagers was released in 1,972 theatres, earning $500,000 on its first day and $1.4 million over its opening weekend, finishing fifth at the box office.[2] The movie dropped by over 43.5%, to $779,317, in its second weekend, finishing sixth.[13]

Home Media[edit]

Voyagers was released on DVD, Blu-ray and Ultra HD Blu-ray on June 15, 2021 by Lionsgate Home Entertainment.[14]


Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 26% of 136 critics gave the film a positive review, with an average rating of 5.00/10. The website's critical consensus states: "It has a game cast and a premise ripe with potential, but Voyagers drifts in familiar orbit instead of fully exploring its intriguing themes."[15] Metacritic assigned a weighted average score of 44 out of 100 based on 34 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews."[16] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "C" on an A+ to F scale, while PostTrak reported that 53% of its audience members gave it a positive score, with just 27% stating that they would certainly recommend it.[2]


  1. ^ a b c "Voyagers (2021)". The Numbers. Nash Information Services, LLC. Retrieved May 7, 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d D'Alessandro, Anthony (April 10, 2021). "'Godzilla Vs. Kong' Stomping To $69M By Sunday; Easily Top-Grossing Pic To Date At Domestic B.O. During Pandemic". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 10, 2021.
  3. ^ a b "Voyagers (2021)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved June 10, 2021.
  4. ^ "'Voyagers' Summary & Ending, Explained - Depicts Horrors Of Human Madness | DMT". Digital Mafia Talkies. 2021-05-11. Retrieved 2021-05-11.
  5. ^ Forbes > article "Weekend Box Office: 'Voyagers' Bombs But 'The Unholy' Holds Firm" by Scott Mendelson (April 11, 2021)
  6. ^ Mitchell, Robert (2019-01-17). 'Upside' Director Neil Burger Sets Sci-Fi 'Voyagers' as Next Project. Variety, 17 January 2019. Retrieved from
  7. ^ Wiseman, Andreas (2019-04-26). 'Voyagers': Colin Farrell, Lily-Rose Depp, Tye Sheridan Among Cast For Neil Burger's Sci-Fi-Thriller; Uni Int'l Buys Major Markets From AGC. Deadline, 26 April 2019. Retrieved from
  8. ^ Wiseman, Andreas (2019-06-28). "'Voyagers': Lionsgate Snaps Up U.S. Rights To Neil Burger Sci-Fi-Thriller With Colin Farrell, Tye Sheridan & Lily-Rose Depp". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 2019-06-28.
  9. ^ Marc, Christopher (2019-05-02). "Neil Burger's Sci-Fi Flick 'Voyagers' Eyes June 17th Production Start In Romania – Stars Colin Farrell, Tye Sheridan, and Fionn Whitehead". HN Entertainment. Retrieved 2019-06-28.
  10. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (May 1, 2020). "'John Wick 4' To 2022, While 'Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard', 'Spiral, 'Barb And Star' & More Head To 2021: Lionsgate Release Date Changes". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 1, 2020.
  11. ^ Welk, Brian (October 9, 2020). "Colin Farrell Sci-Fi 'Voyagers' and Hilary Swank Thriller 'Fatale' Bumped to 2021 by Lionsgate". The Wrap. Retrieved October 9, 2020.
  12. ^ "Director Neil Burger's 'Voyagers' launches a colony ship to the stars". 9 April 2021.
  13. ^ "Box Office: 'Mortal Kombat' Nears $20M Overseas As 'Nobody' Nears $35M Global". Forbes. April 18, 2021. Retrieved April 23, 2021.
  14. ^ "Voyagers Blu-ray revealed the release". DVD Release Dates. Retrieved October 21, 2021.
  15. ^ "Voyagers (2021)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved December 8, 2021.
  16. ^ "Voyagers Reviews". Metacritic. Red Ventures. Retrieved April 18, 2021.

External links[edit]