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A SOUND OF THUNDER

About The Production
"A Sound of Thunder is about consequences,” says director Peter Hyams, whose body of work as a director and screenwriter includes Outland, Capricorn One, 2010: The Year We Make Contact and the futuristic thriller Timecop. "We cannot predict exactly what would happen if something in the past were changed and how that would affect the present. But this movie allows us to speculate about one possible and frightening option.”

With the help of Oscar-winning visual effects supervisor Tim McGovern, Hyams powerfully delivers his vision of some of the more calamitous possibilities posed by Bradbury's cautionary tale – a task that involved his overseeing nearly 900 individual effects shots at every stage of production. "The premise,” he offers, "is that if you alter anything in the past it will impact the timeline in a series of ripples extending out to God-knows-what ultimate effect.”

The fatal transgression occurs on a Time Safari expedition to the Cretaceous Era when one member of the group inadvertently takes a single errant step off the company's strictly proscribed path, planting his boot momentarily into the loamy earth.

From that moment of impact a new and divergent course of evolution is touched off, rolling ominously forward from the Prehistoric Age in a series of unstoppable time waves that will transform everything in their path. The changes begin at the lowest molecular level, modifying rudimentary life forms and moving rapidly up the developmental scale to target insects, animals and, ultimately humans.

When the crew and passengers of Time Safari's latest Prehistoric thrill ride return to the present and disembark, they are unaware of the danger they have unwittingly unleashed. Their guide, Dr. Travis Ryer, calls it a day and heads for home. No one pays much attention to the fact that the Chicago skyline has turned an unfamiliar shade of blue and the weather is unseasonably balmy for this time of year.

Next morning, Ryer is stunned to see one of his badly neglected houseplants mysteriously revived, growing tall and vigorous overnight. Hours later the landscape outside has shifted on a much larger scale as first one, then another volatile time wave passes through the city.

Massive roots from newly sprouted vegetation burst upwards, splitting the pavement and cracking open chasms into which drivers plunge to their deaths in vehicles suddenly puny as toys. Vines engulf buildings, crushing support beams like straw, breaking through walls and windows as they reach ever upward. Trees and plants that didn't exist a day ago now rise and flourish as if deep in the tropics, and armies of carnivorous insects ravage everything in their path. Terrified tenants flee their homes and run into the slippery and steaming streets but the streets are more treacherous than the buildings.

"The city of Chicago has turned into a primordial jungle. People are fast becoming the prey rather than the predators and it's nearly physically impossible to get around,” Hyams describes the stunning transformation. "The place is essentially trashed.”

Into this surreal and perilous landscape Ryer forges a path to the home of Dr. Sonia Rand, inventor of the time-travel technology that spawned the Time Safari enterprise. Although she introduced the first transporter that threw open the door to an exciting new scientific frontier, Rand was also the first to warn against its potential danger and unpredictability. Now, she is the only person who can figure out what is happening and whether there is any chance to make it right.

Together with the surviving members of Ryer's former crew, the two scientists review the data from Time Safari's latest trip and make a chilling discovery: the time transport vehicle's payload was 1.3 grams heavier on the return trip than on the outbound. They brought something back. But what? More importantly, if they c

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