It’s nigh-on impossible for any time-travel story to escape the shadow of Back to the Future, with Bob Zemeckis’ 1985 classic still standing as the benchmark for entertaining, well-plotted temporal tomfoolery.


And new Netflix movie The Adam Project wears that connection on its sleeve, with the earlier film referenced explicitly in dialogue and clearly functioning as a key influence on the story (which sees Ryan Reynolds’ time traveller team up with his younger self to avert a dark future).

But does The Adam Project have an even closer connection to the world of Marty McFly et al? Watching closely, we think we might have spotted a subtle Easter Egg linking the two films together – though it could also just be a big coincidence. You decide.

At one point during the film, we see both Adams and their father (played by Mark Ruffalo in The Adam Project cast) meet up at a remote motel to discuss what’s happened, leading to some emotionally charged scenes. But don’t get too distracted by all the expositional angst, and check out the name and logo of the motel – Pine Ridge (see main image).

Again, this could be a coincidence but it feels like a riff on classic Back to the Future location Two Pines Mall, where Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) and Marty (Michael J Fox) first send their time-travelling DeLorean back into the 1950s. Famously, in the 50s timeline Marty knocks down one of the pine trees that gave the mall its name, with this change to established history leading to the site being rechristened as “Lone Pine Mall” when he returns to the 80s.

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Back to the Future
Marty McFly at Twin Pines/Lone Pine Mall (Universal)

It's one of the most famous background jokes in movie history, and explicitly tied to time travel, so it makes sense that The Adam Project (which, again, names Back to the Future in the script) might include a subtle nod. And even the logo of Pine Ridge Motel reminds a little of the mall’s sign, though this time with three overlapping triangles instead of two separate ones (possibly symbolising the three overlapping timelines featured in The Adam Project).

Or, you know, we’ve gone mad and director Shawn Levy just wanted to name a set after some foliage. Sometimes you can’t see the wood for the time-displaced trees.

The Adam Project is streaming on Netflix now. For more, check out our dedicated Sci-Fi page and our guide to the best movies on Netflix. Find something to watch now with our TV Guide.


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