The Adam Project

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The Adam Project
Official promotional poster
Directed byShawn Levy
Written by
Produced by
CinematographyTobias Schliessler
Edited by
Music byRob Simonsen[1]
Distributed byNetflix
Release date
  • March 11, 2022 (2022-03-11)
Running time
106 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$116 million[2]

The Adam Project is a 2022 American science-fiction action comedy film produced by Skydance Media, Maximum Effort, and 21 Laps Entertainment for the Netflix streaming service. It was directed by Shawn Levy from a screenplay written by Jonathan Tropper, T.S. Nowlin, Jennifer Flackett and Mark Levin. The movie stars Ryan Reynolds, Walker Scobell in his film debut, Mark Ruffalo, Jennifer Garner, Catherine Keener and Zoe Saldaña. In the film, fighter pilot Adam Reed (Reynolds) crash lands in 2022 after getting injured while stealing a time jet, and meets his 12-year-old self (Scobell) in the process, who had been dealing with the loss of his father Louis (Ruffalo) the year before. All-the-while, Maya Sorian (Keener), leader of the dystopian world and head of her company Sorian, plans to monopolize time travel.

Production on the film first began in 2012 with Tom Cruise attached to star. The film then fell into development hell until Netflix acquired the distribution rights. Filming commenced in November 2020 and wrapped in March 2021. Rob Simonsen composed the score.[3]

The Adam Project began a limited "one night only" theatrical release on March 9, 2022 followed by its digital release on Netflix on March 11. The film received mixed reviews from critics, who praised the performances, action sequences, visual effects, and its inspiration from 1980s movies, but criticism for the writing and storyline.


In a dystopian 2050, fighter pilot Adam Reed steals a time jet to escape to 2018 to save his wife, Laura. In the process, he gets injured and crash-lands in 2022.

Following the death of his father Louis a year previously, a 12-year-old Adam is bullied at school, gets suspended for fighting, and is distant from his mother Ellie. When he is home alone one night, he finds the injured future Adam.

The younger Adam refuses to trust the stranger, but future Adam inadvertently mentions the names of both the younger Adam and his dog, Hawking. The younger Adam soon realizes that the stranger in front of him is his future self.

Due to a safety feature preventing him from flying because of his injuries, Adam must bring along the younger Adam and use his DNA to enter his jet. They both are soon attacked by Maya Sorian, the leader of the dystopian world, and her assistant Christos, but are saved by Laura, who had faked her death and stayed off-grid in an unknown location.

After surviving the attack and comparing notes, Laura and the Adams realize that after the invention of time travel by Louis and his subsequent death, Sorian had monopolized the discovery. During her visit to 2018, Laura learned Sorian frequently came and advised her past self in order to secure her future wealth and power.

To protect her secret, Sorian ordered Laura's death. Although Laura survived the assassination attempt, destruction of her time jet left her stranded in the past. The sudden arrival of Sorian's goons interrupts the reunion, and Laura fights off the attack long enough for the two Adams to escape to 2018.

In 2018, the Adams meet Louis in an attempt to enlist his help, but their father refuses any assistance out of concern for the effect on the time stream. That night, Sorian meets and warns her past self about Adam. Meanwhile, the Adams share their common feelings about their father in a motel.

The next day, they both set off to destroy the time travel machine. On arrival at Sorian Technologies, they are attacked by Sorian's soldiers, but are unexpectedly saved by Louis, who has changed his mind and agrees to guide them. He reveals that destroying the machine will not destroy time travel as long as Sorian has his algorithm with all the math and constraints to control the process. Meanwhile, 2050 Sorian captures the younger Adam.

Although Louis and 2050 Adam remove a memory unit with the algorithm, both Sorians arrive and threaten 2022 Adam as leverage to coerce Louis into surrendering the algorithm. 2050 Adam stalls, allowing 2022 Adam to escape from Sorian by pushing her gun away, but an errant bullet damages the seal restraining the electromagnetic field, causing it to grow to limitless values.

The Reeds try as much as they can to stop them, but the older Sorian threatens to kill Louis. Adam warns that her bullets are armor-piercing, but Louis remains adamant. Seeing no other way, Sorian shoots at Louis, but the path of the bullet is altered by the electromagnetic field and hits 2018 Sorian instead, killing her and therefore wiping 2050 Sorian out of existence.

The Reeds barely manage to escape the facility's implosion and reach home, where they reconcile by playing a game of catch before the Adams fade out and return to their respective times. In 2022, the younger Adam lives in a new timeline where he never got suspended, has let go of his anger, and gives his mother a hug via an "echo".

Sometime in the future, an older and much happier Adam meets Laura during a flight training lecture where she realizes, to Adam's amusement, she has entered the wrong building on the campus. Adam offers to walk her to her building, stating that he has got time, and they depart together.


  • Ryan Reynolds as Adam Reed (2050), a time pilot who risks his life to try and uncover the truth behind his wife's disappearance.
    • Walker Scobell as 12-year-old Adam (2022), a bullied, asthmatic sixth grader.
    • Isaiah Haegert as 8-year-old Adam (2018).
  • Mark Ruffalo as Louis Reed, Adam's father and a brilliant quantum physicist who wrote the algorithm necessary for controlled time travel. Reed died in 2021 in a car accident, and Adam still suffers from depression.
  • Jennifer Garner as Ellie Reed, Adam's mother. Garner also portrays her younger self in 2018.
  • Catherine Keener as Maya Sorian, a businesswoman who funded Louis' research and later took advantage of his death to monopolize it for her own benefit and create a future where she is the most powerful woman in the world.
    • Keener also portrays her younger self through de-aging, with Lucie Guest as her body double.
  • Zoe Saldaña as Laura Shane, Adam's wife and a fellow time pilot left stranded in 2018 after a failed attempt on her life. Saldaña also portrays her alternate version in the changed timeline.
  • Alex Mallari Jr. as Christos, Adam and Laura's former colleague, now a ruthless security enforcer employed by Sorian.
  • Ben Wilkinson as Derek, Ellie’s new boyfriend.



Shawn Levy at the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con International in San Diego, California.
Director and producer Shawn Levy

The project, a spec script written by T.S. Nowlin, was initially announced as Our Name Is Adam in October 2012. Paramount Pictures became interested in acquiring the film, and Tom Cruise was attached to star.[4][5]

The film was revived in July 2020 when it moved to Netflix, with Shawn Levy as director and Ryan Reynolds set to star after previously collaborating on Free Guy (2021), while the latest draft of the script was written by Jonathan Tropper, from previous drafts by Nowlin, Jennifer Flackett and Mark Levin.[6] In November, Jennifer Garner, Zoe Saldana, Mark Ruffalo, Catherine Keener, Alex Mallari Jr. and Walker Scobell were added to the cast.[7][8]


Filming commenced in November 2020 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.[8] Filming officially wrapped in March 2021.[9]


Rob Simonsen composed the score.[10] A track from the film titled "The Adam Project" was released as a single on March 3, 2022.[11]


The film began a limited theatrical release only on March 9, 2022 at 7:00PM Eastern Standard Time followed by its release on Netflix on March 11.[12][13]


Audience viewership[edit]

According to Samba TV, 3 million US households watched The Adam Project in its first weekend streaming on Netflix. Samba TV also showed that 384,000 households watched the film within the first 3-days of that period.[14]

Critical response[edit]

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 68% of 216 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 6.1/10. The website's consensus reads: "Even if it isn't the most original – or memorable – time-travel adventure, The Adam Project gets by with entertaining action and a likable cast."[15] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 55 out of 100, based on 48 critics, indicating "mixed or average" reviews.[16]

Ryan Leston of IGN gave it 9 out of 10 and called it a mash-up of Back to the Future and The Last Starfighter. He praised Reynolds for his performance and Scobell for his debut performance.[17] Owen Gleiberman of Variety wrote: "The movie is a total trifle, but it’s often a diverting one — a wide-eyed sci-fi adventure with a screwball buoyancy."[18]


Accolades received by The Adam Project
Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
MTV Movie & TV Awards June 5, 2022 Best Movie The Adam Project Nominated [19]
Best Team Ryan Reynolds and Walker Scobell Nominated
Dragon Awards September 4, 2022 Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Movie The Adam Project Nominated [20]
People's Choice Awards December 6, 2022 The Comedy Movie of 2022 The Adam Project Won [21]
The Male Movie Star of 2022 Ryan Reynolds Nominated
The Female Movie Star of 2022 Jennifer Garner Nominated
The Comedy Movie Star of 2022 Jennifer Garner Nominated
Ryan Reynolds Nominated
Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards March 4, 2023 Favorite Movie Actor Ryan Reynolds Nominated [22]


  1. ^ "Rob Simonsen Scoring Shawn Levy's The Adam Project". January 11, 2021. Archived from the original on March 20, 2022. Retrieved January 12, 2022.
  2. ^ Mendelson, Scott (March 15, 2022). "Ryan Reynolds' Adam Project Represents The Conundrum Of Netflix Blockbusters". Forbes. Archived from the original on March 16, 2022. Retrieved March 16, 2022.
  3. ^ "Rob Simonsen Scoring Shawn Levy's The Adam Project". January 11, 2021. Archived from the original on March 20, 2022. Retrieved January 12, 2022.
  4. ^ Sneider, Jeff (October 17, 2012). "Tom Cruise circling Mary Parent sci-fi project". Variety. Archived from the original on May 15, 2013. Retrieved December 18, 2020.
  5. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (October 17, 2012). "Paramount In Talks For Tom Cruise Pic 'Our Name Is Adam,' But Studio Punts Ivan Reitman/Kevin Costner's 'Draft Day'". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on August 29, 2014. Retrieved November 17, 2020.
  6. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (July 23, 2020). "Ryan Reynolds-Shawn Levy Time Travel Project Shifts From Paramount To Netflix". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on July 23, 2020. Retrieved November 17, 2020.
  7. ^ Kroll, Justin (November 17, 2020). "Jennifer Garner And Zoe Saldana Joins Ryan Reynolds in 'The Adam Project' For Netflix And Skydance". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on November 17, 2020. Retrieved November 17, 2020.
  8. ^ a b Kit, Borys (November 23, 2020). "Mark Ruffalo, Catherine Keener Join Ryan Reynolds in 'The Adam Project' for Skydance, Netflix (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on November 23, 2020. Retrieved November 23, 2020.
  9. ^ "Ryan Reynolds Shares The Adam Project Photos of Gamora, Elektra, The Hulk, and Deadpool Stars". Archived from the original on March 3, 2021. Retrieved August 15, 2021.
  10. ^ "Rob Simonsen Scoring Shawn Levy's The Adam Project". January 11, 2021. Archived from the original on March 20, 2022. Retrieved January 12, 2022.
  11. ^ Anderton, Ethan (March 3, 2022). "Listen To The Emotional Title Track From The Adam Project Score By Composer Rob Simonsen [Exclusive]". /Film. Archived from the original on March 6, 2022. Retrieved March 6, 2022.
  12. ^ "Adam Project, The". Landmark Cinemas. February 23, 2022. Archived from the original on February 26, 2022. Retrieved February 23, 2022.
  13. ^ "The Adam Project". March 4, 2022. Archived from the original on March 3, 2022. Retrieved March 4, 2022.
  14. ^ "The Adam Project: Ryan Reynolds-led film registers third-best debut week for a Netflix movie". JoBlo. March 16, 2022. Archived from the original on July 8, 2022. Retrieved December 7, 2022.
  15. ^ "The Adam Project". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved December 7, 2022. Edit this at Wikidata
  16. ^ "The Adam Project". Metacritic. Fandom, Inc. Retrieved December 7, 2022.
  17. ^ Leston, Ryan (March 10, 2022). "The Adam Project Review". IGN. Archived from the original on May 12, 2022. Retrieved May 7, 2022.
  18. ^ Gleiberman, Owen (March 10, 2022). "'The Adam Project' Review: Ryan Reynolds Meets His 12-Year-Old Self in Shawn Levy's Back-to-the-Future Action Confection". Variety. Archived from the original on May 7, 2022. Retrieved May 7, 2022.
  19. ^ Nordyke, Kimberly (June 5, 2022). "MTV Movie & TV Awards: Spider-Man: No Way Home, Euphoria Top Winners List". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on June 6, 2022. Retrieved September 15, 2022.
  20. ^ "2022 Dragon Awards Winners". Locus. September 7, 2022. Archived from the original on September 7, 2022. Retrieved November 2, 2022.
  21. ^ Piña, Christy (December 6, 2022). "People's Choice Awards: Doctor Strange 2, Don't Worry Darling Take Top Prizes". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on December 7, 2022. Retrieved December 7, 2022.
  22. ^ Nordyke, Kimberly (March 4, 2023). "Wednesday, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Taylor Swift, Harry Styles Among Winners at 2023 Kids' Choice Awards". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on March 5, 2023. Retrieved March 5, 2023.

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