When Jennifer Garner’s Jenna said “Arrivederci” and Mark Ruffalo’s Matty said “Au Revoir” for the last time in 2004, at 13 going on 30, fans have longed to see the two pair together on their TV screens. Thankfully, to Netflix’s new project, the Garner-Ruffalo collaboration was brought back with Ryan Reynolds.
The Adam Project is a 2022 American science-fiction action film directed by Shawn Levy from a screenplay written by Jonathan Tropper, T.S. Nowlin, Jennifer Flackett, and Mark Levin. It stars Ryan Reynolds, Walker Scobell, Mark Ruffalo, Jennifer Garner, Catherine Keener, and Zoe Saldaña. The plot follows a pilot from the future who goes back in time and encounters his younger self. 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. The film was released on Netflix on March 11, 2022, and received mixed reviews from critics. The characters make references to “The Terminator” and “Back to the Future” but the film also draws from the underrated “Frequency” and from stories going back to the myth of Orpheus. And fans of “13 Going on 30” will appreciate seeing Garner and Mark Ruffalo as a devoted couple.
The iconic reunion!
At a glance, Netflix’s The Adam Project has little in common with the 2004 romantic comedy 13 Going On 30. Whereas the Ryan Reynolds vehicle is an action-packed sci-fi flick with a heavy emphasis on literal time travel, Thirteen Going On 30 is about an entitled teenage girl skipping forward in time to disastrous results. Both films star Jennifer Garner and Mark Ruffalo as adorable romantic pairs, but that isn’t all they have in common. Beneath its intense action and sci-fi gadgetry, The Adam Project is chockfull of heart, exploring themes of love, family and invaluable time.
The Adam’s Project is not quite as heart-warming as the less-stilted, unscripted reminiscing that Ruffalo and Garner have been doing on their press tour. But we do get to see Ruffalo and Garner playing as a married couple in The Adam Project, although, sadly, they only have one scene together.
According to fans, the movie is a 13 Going on 30 alternate future where Matty invents time travel, dies young, and Jenna is stuck raising a young version of Ryan Reynolds. It’s not quite the happily ever after this iconic couple deserves, but, hey, maybe now they can make a 13 Going on 30 sequel where their child magically turns into Ryan Reynolds.
In an interview, Mark mentioned that the movie was brought back just as he and Jennifer left off. “It was like Jenna and Matty went off and had Ryan Reynolds as a kid, and no one can understand how he got so tall.” While that’s certainly not the kind of future we would have predicted for Jenna and Matty, we’ll take anything that gives us a reunion like this.