The Emotional Ending (And Those Unanswered Questions) From ‘The Adam Project’ Explained

Confused? We were too.

If you’ve watched Netflix’s latest sci-fi adventure film, The Adam Project (and we’re willing to bet quite a few people have given it’s shot straight to top 10 in Australia), then we have no doubt you had more than a few questions come the film’s end. 

The movie is based on a time travelling pilot, Adam (played by Ryan Reynolds) who revisits his past self in order to save his wife, Laura (played by Zoe Saldaña) who has mysteriously disappeared. But what he finds leads him to an entirely different (and unexpected) adventure. 

The film layers complicated time travel science with versions of memories and unknown outcomes. It’s as confusing as it sounds, so we thought it pertinent to unpack what the film and its ending all really meant. 

Here, the ending of The Adam Project explained. 

(Credit: Netflix)

What is The Adam Project about? 

The Adam Project follows time travelling pilot Adam Reed who lives in 2050. His wife, Laura, is also a time traveller and when she goes missing while on a mission back to 2018, he tries to travel back to that year in order to understand what happened to her and to see if he can save her. 

But when he attempts to go to 2018, he accidently gets stuck in 2022. Injured, Adam is unable to revive the time travel ship without his healthy DNA, and he’s forced to wait until he fully recovers in order to get it going again… or, as he discovers, he could enlist the help of his younger self (played  by Walker Scobell) to get the ship working. 

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What happens at the end of The Adam Project

As the film progresses, it becomes clear to Adam that he needs to stop a chain of events happening in the first place in order to not only discover what happened to his wife, but to also stop Maya, another time traveller, from using the time travel invention for her own personal gain (and to others detriment). 

But ironically, the time travel mechanism was created by Adam’s late father, Louis (Mark Ruffalo), in the first place. Louis was killed in a car accident in 2022, which we later learn might not have been so accidental due to Maya’s involvement in his time travel project. When Adam and younger Adam are finally reunited with Laura, the three of them  decide that by travelling back to a time before Louis died, they could stop him from inventing time travel in the first place, and stop Maya from undertaking her evil dealings.  

They manage to do exactly that. They defeat Maya and before they get thrown back to their respectful places in time, the film ends with both Adams playing catch with their father—taking advantage of the quality father-and-son time that was taken from them too soon. 

The Adam Project ending explained 

There are a couple of questions the ending of the movie raises, namely, does Adam still meet and marry Laura, even though they’ve technically altered the timeline of their lives? And does Louis still die, leaving the young Adam fatherless too soon? 

While the film ends with both Adams playing catch with their dad, it’s implied that when they’re both transported back to their rightful places in time, they’ll have no memory of what happened since Louis now never invented time travel. 

And while whatever happens beyond that moment is ambiguous, it’s understood that Louis does still die because he refuses to listen to Adam’s warnings about what’s coming. 

As for Adam and Laura, the end of the film reveals the pair crossing paths for the first time (again) long after they were returned to their place in the timeline in the year 2050. There, their eyes meet at the flight academy, and its the look of recognition in Laura’s eyes that convinces us the pair will find their way back to each other, even if they don’t understand how their connection formed in their former lives. 

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