Cover (L-R) Ryan Reynolds, Walker Scobell, Jennifer Garner, and Mark Ruffalo attend 'The Adam Project' world premiere (Photo: Monica Schipper/Getty Images for Netflix)

The stars speak to Tatler about the new Shawn Levy-directed sci-fi flick on Netflix

What do you get when you combine Back to the Future, About Time, Avengers: Endgame, and just a smattering of Star Wars (read: lightsabre)? A thrilling time-travel sci-fi flick with heart that's set to make history on Netflix.

Read more: Netflix: The Cast of Red Notice on Team Dynamics and Being in a Sandbox Together

Starring Deadpool actor Ryan Reynolds as the titular Adam Reed, The Adam Project takes audience through a trip in time after Reed, a time-travelling fight pilot from 2050 on a mission to rescue the love of his life, accidentally crash lands in 2022. There, the wounded pilot comes face-to-face with his 12-year-old self, played by newcomer Walker Scobell, at his childhood home. He then decides to engage Young Adam on a mission to save the world and in return, 'save' himself.

The project was initially announced as Our Name Is Adam with Tom Cruise attached to star. However, the film fell into development hell until Netflix acquired the distribution rights from Paramount Pictures in July 2020. Its revival saw a rework of the script by Jonathan Tropper from previous drafts by T.S. Nowlin, Jennifer Flackett, and Mark Levin. In November, Jennifer Garner, Zoe Saldana, Mark Ruffalo, Catherine Keener, and Walker Scobell were added to the cast.

See also: Netflix: 6 Shows That Had Us Rooting for the 'Bad' Guys

Ruffalo and Garner play Adam's parents Louis Reed (a brilliant physicist who worked on time travel) and Ellis Reed (Adam's rock and sole parent after Louis passes away) respectively, while Zoe Saldana plays Adam's love interest, Laura. Meanwhile, Catherine Keener is the main antagonist Maya Sorian, who has stolen the powerful time travel technology from Louis and is responsible for suspicious time-space anomalies.

When the Adams meet, Young Adam is grieving, having just lost his father in a tragic accident, while Big Adam can't relate as time has passed and the pain from his father's death has manifested into resentment. Yet, to save the world from a Maya Sorian-orchestrated threat, both Big and Young Adam will have to put their differences aside and work as a team (complete with squabbles and razor-sharp sarcasm) to find past-Louis Reed.

Don't miss: Netflix: Mary Elizabeth Winstead & Miku Martineau Discuss Making ‘Kate’

It's through this unexpected partnership that he realises what he needs to come to terms with in order to make things right for himself and for the world.

On screen, the relationship between Big Adam and Young Adam is akin to being siblings aka bickering brothers with a huge age gap. In reality, however, the 13-year-old Scobell couldn't idolise Reynolds more. Not only is he a huge fan of superhero movies, but his favourites are also Avengers: Endgame and–you guessed it–Deadpool.

Read more: World Book Day: 7 Book Adaptations To Watch On Netflix

During a media roundtable discussion, Tatler asks the young 'un what it felt like to work alongside his favourite superhero for his first movie. "It's definitely... it's really weird to see him in person because I'm so used to seeing him on the screen. He's definitely a lot taller than I thought he was. But... yeah. It was really confusing to have him actually talking to me! (laughs)" he gushes.

Reynolds has only praises for Scobell's performance.

"It was amazing working with Scobell! When Levy and I were developing The Adam Project, and we were sitting there in our little foxhole as we do for the movies that we're lucky enough to work on with each other, we sat around and this was the biggest piece of the puzzle. The movie lives and dies on Scobell's performance so the fact that we found someone as talented as Scobell, who's as good of an actor, but also such a great mimic was like a one in a billion kind of thing. We read hundreds and hundreds of kids so it was incredible," Reynolds says.

See also: Exclusive: Ursula Corbero Says Bella Ciao To ‘Money Heist’ & Tokyo

"Seeing him on his first day and seeing him in action... he has never done a movie before, he has never done a commercial, he has never done a TV show, nothing, and you'd never know that. From the first line in the movie right through the end when the credits rolled, it's really impressive what this kid's got going on."

That said, Reynolds is obviously no stranger to action movies or brandishing weapons and showing off lethal fighting chops. Was there anything that was particularly challenging for him to film in The Adam Project?

"I mean, I was so much more focused on the kind of emotional spine of the movie than I'd be on the stunt part. I don't know... I've done probably a dozen action movies at this point. I know when to jump in and when to hand it off to a stunt person (laughs). For The Adam Project, I was more focused on the story than anything," he reveals.

Don't miss: Netflix: Squid Game & 6 Other Thrilling Survival-Themed Shows

"He did a lot of his own stuff like there was one fight scene outside the house and most of that was him like, he was actually fighting. It looked like his stunt double Alex who has a six-pack," Scobell chimes in.

"Yeah, Alex Kyshkovych. He was my stunt double in Deadpool and Deadpool 2 as well. He's a really gifted guy. He showed Scobell the ropes. He has a 14-pack, I think!" Reynolds muses.

Tatler also catches up with Ruffalo and Garner, the parental units in The Adam Project. By now, Ruffalo has taken on many-a-role where he played a professor or a scientist (read: Marvel's Bruce Banner and his alter ego, Hulk). Having nailed those movies with flying colours, was there anything that Ruffalo found exceptionally hard to do in this one?

Read more: Exclusive: Eternals Star Ma Dong-seok On Suiting Up For The Marvel Epic

Ruffalo replies: "(deep breath) Um, yeah! (laughs) There were a few hard things. There were long dialogue scenes where I'm talking about a lot of scientific things that... some of them were made up and even though I've played a professor and a scientist in other movies, I've always had a hard time. I don't understand why they come to me for this stuff! It's impossible for me to say. It's impossible for me to understand (laughs).

"There was a long walk and talk where I'm spitting out all this jargon about time travel and wormholes and, you know, black holes, and the Adamfluxerbicarboniser and those were really hard scenes for me to do! And I don't know why they keep... just stop casting me as a scientist and a frickin' professor! Stop! I can't do it!" he rants lightheartedly.

Reuniting with Ruffalo on screen for the first time in 18 years (their last project together was in 2004's 13 Going on 30), Garner and Ruffalo joke about making a sequel titled 50 Going on 80. Garner was last seen in the 2021 family comedy film, Yes Day, which she co-produced and was in tribute to a family tradition between her and her three children. Tatler asks Garner what she loved most about working on The Adam Project, which is a different sort of family movie.

See also: Yes Day: Why Parents Should Attempt Jennifer Garner’s Annual Tradition

"I love movies where the whole family can watch it together and I do feel like The Adam Project is exactly that film. There's action but it's not gory and it's not terrifying–it's just exciting. There's a love story but it's totally the most aspirational love story you could ever imagine. There are kickass women in it and men who are hilarious and fumbling and learning as they go," she enthuses.

"It's really a movie that I think the entire family can cuddle up on the couch together and enjoy, and that's a win for me."

© 2022 Tatler Asia Limited. All rights reserved.