Behind the Scenes of SOURCE CODE

By Evy Baehr, Associate Editor

Source Code is an intriguing Sci-Fi movie which questions alternate realities as the main character jumps from one universe to the next to change the outcome of

a bombing. Eight Minutes is all the time frame that the main character, Captain Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal), has to use to find the bomber and change the outcome. MOVIEGUIDE(r) was able to hear some thoughts from the filmmakers.


One of the key story aspects to the movie is that it repeats eight minutes of a time, this thought coming about by writer Ben Ripley, who asked the question: “What if there is an actual device of some kind that can generate a loop…a compressed pocket of time?” Regarding the fictional scientist who has created this machine, Ripley says, “I wanted to start him as some what sympathetic…the man with the crutch, and I wanted him to almost represent salvation…but his true commitment is to the technology, and he is quite happy using and reusing the ideal candidate…” who is Captain Colter Stevens.

The identity of the bomber/terrorist is surprising, but Ripley says “I think domestic terrorism is where things are going, I didn’t really want to make the movie about that, I wanted it to be the occasion for the story, but I wanted something that answered the question of who and why but get to the deeper character mysteries of Jake’s predicament.” The predicament leads to Captain Colter Stevens’ meeting “his own fate in the primary reality…but the liberation is when he finds the alternate reality which is our happy ending,” says Ripley.

The good news is the lead character is fighting to save lives, to prevent them from being blown up by a ticking bomb.

“The movie is not about reliving a period time, my character has to live with the regrets of it, and has an opportunity to try to make good out of a situation that he had deep regret for,” says Jake Gyllanhall about his character. As for Jake himself, he tells us “I wouldn’t re-do or relive anything, I think regret is a great teacher if you listen to it. And, what I would want … is a computer program that would save thousands of lives not just let me re-do some part.” Responding to alternate universes and tapping into those, Jake says, “my mind works and if you allow your mind to work you will go anywhere.”

The movie lends itself to the questions: Do alternate realities exist? Where do we live? And, Can we change the outcome of life through these different realities and through the use of science?

Science does not answer our questions; it is not the solution to our problems. We cannot use a machine to go back in time to solve the world’s issues, and it certainly cannot eliminate death.

We know there is death: it is reality. And, the reality is that there is only one who conquered death is Christ. There is no machine or computer for that, but there is a God who has promised to do just that: save millions of people. Neither by scientific reasoning nor technology will we ever be saved.

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