A movie directed by Christian Alvart
An astronaut, Corporal Bower (Ben Foster), wakes up from suspended hibernation to find himself alone, with no memory of who he is, what he is doing, or what happened to the crew of the 60,000 passenger sleeper ship, Elysium. He proceeds to wake up Lieutenant Payton (Dennis Quaid), who is also suffering from memory loss. They are unable to access the ship's bridge and cannot communicate with any other members of the crew, including the flight crew team who they are supposed to relieve.
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. Its symptoms and effects include severe paranoia, vivid hallucinations, and homicidal tendencies. Payton tells of another ship in which a single flight crew member, affected by Pandorum, jettisoned every crew member into space, killing five thousand.
As Bower continues on, he encounters dead bodies and fast-moving humanoid creatures. Escaping from one of them, he then encounters other human survivors, Manh (Cung Le) and Nadia (Antje Traue); they work together to reach the ship's nuclear reactor. Bower informs the other survivors that the reactor will fail permanently if he does not reset it.
Moving on, the group encounters another survivor, Leland (Eddie Rouse), who tells them the story of what had happened before they awakened: Earth, suffering from massive overpopulation, launched the Elysium on a 123-year voyage to a new, Earth-like planet called Tanis to create a settlement. When the ship later learns that Earth was somehow destroyed, one of the three bridge crew members went insane. After killing the other two crewmates, he awakened most of the remaining crew to torture and manipulate them. Those crew members who did not participate with the flight member's orders were banished to the hold of the ship, and forced to scavenge in order to survive. When he finally grew bored of this, he went back into suspended animation and left the rest of the crew awake. Genetic augmentations that every crew member had received prior to the mission for quick adaptation to Tanis had instead adapted them to the ship, turning them into the cannibalistic monsters that Bower and the other survivors have been encountering. Leland then uses gas to render the group unconscious. Upon awakening they find themselves chained up with Leland about to kill them for food.
Meanwhile, Payton discovers another crew member, Corporal Gallo (Cam Gigandet), who reveals that he was part of the flight crew that received the final message from Earth. 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 at the last moment. Manh lures away most of the mutants but is eventually killed by one of them. While moving through the passenger hypersleep storage area, Bower fully regains his memories, now realizing that Payton is not who he says he is. Payton is actually Gallo, and he is only imagining the other Gallo, who is an imagined manifestation of his younger self.
Leland finds his way to Gallo, but is killed when Gallo stabs him in the eye. Bower finds his way to the bridge and Gallo opens a window on the ceiling above them, to reveal black emptiness, devoid of stars. Gallo then starts to convince Bower that he is the one who is suffering from Pandorum. Bower attacks Gallo, while simultaneously battling the symptoms of Pandorum. As they fight it is revealed that the ship has actually been on Tanis for the last 800 years, having crashed landed and sunk to the bottom of some body of water. 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 3097. Bower accidentally causes a hull breach, and soon water starts pouring in, presumably drowning Gallo.
Bower escapes to the ocean's surface with 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, the new home for humanity.
A movie directed by Christian Alvart
A 2008 movie directed by Roland Emmerich
A movie directed by Jonas Åkerlund