About The Production
Scientists and mathematicians have been pondering the notion of multiple universes for centuries. Theories have been suggested, books have been written, even psychics and astrologers have speculated that more than one of each of us exists, and although no hard facts uphold such a belief, many knowledgeable people feel certain of this hypothesis. Would you be given another set of life circumstances? Would you have the same job? Would you select the same mate? Would you be happier or more successful in another world? Or, given the opportunity, would you discover that your alter ego is someone nothing like yourself? What if he or she were evil incarnate?
When partners Glen Morgan and James Wong first contemplated their script, Morgan had been doing some reading on alternate universes and was immediately drawn to writing about the subject. "I had been reading Elegant Universe and some other books, and an article in Scientific American that explored the theories of parallel universes," Morgan says. "The idea that there might be an infinite number of universes with subtle changes gave us an interesting premise. The theory is that when a black hole is created, parallel universes are created at the same time only millimeters away from us. It's a more harrowing idea than the existence of extra-terrestrials because many of us already accept that possibility."
"We posit that those universes are very similar to our own," notes Wong. "But comparable to the Rube-Goldberg effect, the effect of one event can change history and the course of where each parallel life is headed.
"Matter is never fully destroyed," he says. "So we thought it would be interesting if there were parallel me's or you's in different universes. Each of our selves is linked by an energy wave so that when one of us dies in one universe, the energy still exists in other universes. It just gets redistributed amongst all the surviving beings.
"In some of the more advanced universes we created, they've discovered how to travel between parallel universes through quantum tunnels or wormholes," continues
Wong. "The same people who have ideas about parallel universes also theorize that wormholes exist."
"A microscopic wormhole can appear anywhere," Morgan further explains. "But the ability to open it even four feet would take more energy than what exists in the universe. Since we can't really open such a wormhole, we came up with the idea of dissembling our characters so that they are able to get through those holes. Their atoms break apart and are sucked through this vortex into the wormhole and are reassembled in the next universe. It's sort of like the transporter in 'Star Trek,' but the visual effect is much different. The Multiverse Authority is able to forecast where a wormhole will appear so that they can use what they call a Quantum Tunneler to transport their agents via this microscopic highway.
"Those discoveries are what distinguish each universe from another even though the same sort of people inhabit each universe," says Wong. "We see five of those universes in this movie."
The partners developed and honed their story while on a road trip to Las Vegas. When they returned to Los Angeles, they pitched their idea to Revolution Studios head Joe Roth, who immediately gave them the go—ahead. "Joe had started Revolution Studios, and they were interested in doing a sci-fi action film," says Wong. "Since Glen and I were also interested in doing that, we discussed the parallel universe idea as well as having one actor play several different parts.
"We needed to decide who would be the best opponent for the protagonist," he says. "If you use someone who is a really great fighter, that opponent would be himself. In terms of the action you have the hero fighting the anti-hero—dual
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