Updating The Butterfly Effect For A Modern Audience

From Variety: “FilmEngine and Benderspink are teaming to reboot 2004′s “The Butterfly Effect” with original writer-director Eric Bress on board to pen the new script. Producers are A.J. Dix, Anthony Rhulen, Chris Bender and JC Spink, as they did on the original, along with Film Engine president Navid McIllhargey. No director is yet attached.”

Ashton Kutcher wakes up in his college dorm room* from the original The Butterfly Effect. “Here we go again!” he says, which cues the opening title sequence. (The characters are all played by the original characters, so the title sequence features shots from the original film set against a Mighty Mighty Bosstones song.) Although this plot differs from the original, some attention is paid to the original sequence of events that Ashton Kutcher wished to alter in the original — his dog being buried alive, various sexual abuses, etc., — by flipping through images of those events on his iPhone. “Man, I’m glad I was able to change all of this stuff by going back in time and making sure that Amy Smart and I never became friends,” Ashton Kutcher thinks. (I know at this point it seems like this is a sequel, but rest assured that it is a reboot.)

As he flips through the photos on his iPhone, he is noticeably disturbed. Uh-oh! Is he just sad because he’s remembering all of those awful things that actually never ended up happening, because of how he fixed it, but he’s still sad because they did happen once just in a different past? A wink is given to the almost-similarities of this moment to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind by playing Beck’s “Everybody’s Gotta Learn Sometimes.” Because the similarities are slight at best and pretty much non-existant, the song is quickly cut off with a record scratch and we are given a look at his iPhone — uh-oh, HE’S GETTING A DIVORCE?! Uh-oh, HE’S LOSING HIS JOB AND HIS HOME?!? Uh-oh, HE HAS TO GO BACK AND TEACH GYM AT HIS OLD HIGH-SCHOOL!??!

Yes, what Ashton Kutcher is looking at is his future. But, wait, what? He grabs his iPad. “Suri, show me my future.” This makes no sense in a lot of ways, so nothing happens. “Hmmm. Well, I guess it’s only on my iPhone, sooo.” He grabs his iPhone again and checks to see if any of his friends had Vined anything lately. But wait, what? There’s a Vine of him…falling down the steps? –UH-OH, OOPS, OW, EEK, OW! He falls down the steps while looking at the Vine! What’s going on?!

Ashton Kutcher takes all of his Apple products to the Apple Store. “Hey guys, I think my products are defective,” he says. “Okay, do you have Apple Care?” they ask. “Oh brother,” he says. He remembers his ability to go into the past, so he goes into the past and buys Apple Care, then he goes into the future…But in this future iPads don’t exist?! Oh no, my head is spinning!

So he goes back into the past, doesn’t buy Apple Care, goes back into the future and just pays for all new products. “I just want to put this behind me…or is it in front of me?” he thinks to himself. After he gets home and sets up his webcam to make an “unboxing” YouTube video, he stops cold. The iPhone…still has all the photos of his future on it?!


*There are two possible endings to the original The Butterfly Effect. This reboot is choosing the ending where he goes back in time and is mean to Amy Smart in order to fix everything, rather than the ending where he goes back and time and kills himself in order to fix everything. Smoother transition, less to explain.