Rutledge (Jeffrey Wright) explains that the Source Code is not actually time travel, but merely a computer "construct" or "simulation", using the last 8 minutes of memory a person has (in this case: Sean Fentress)

But when Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) manages to procure information Sean Fentress couldn't have in his memory (e.g. where the bomb was, what car the terrorist was driving, the licence plate of that car,...) Rutledge does not question the reliability of this information.

This made me wonder if Rutledge knew all along that the "Source Code" would allow Stevens to do more than just explore Fentress's last 8 minutes of memories.

Do any interviews with cast or crew, or DVD extras, shed more light on whether Rutledge was aware of what the "Source Code" could really do?

1 Answer 1


In this interview with director Duncan Jones and writer Ben Ripley, Ripley explains that each time Colter goes back he enters a parallel reality (so he is not changing the past, he is accessing the last 8 minutes of a different reality experienced by Sean Fentress). Inhabiting Sean’s body/mind, he learns a bit more which he can take with him on the next “trip.” The conundrum is whether these parallel realities already exist or are they being created by the act of sending Colter back? In the end, he goes into a reality where he is the one that stops the bomber, which in a linear world, connects to a different future.


And I think that Source Code is different in that it says if something happened in our past, you can’t change it. And that’s in line with what theoretical physicists are saying these days. You can’t change it, but what you can do via Source Code, or some other technology, is access a kind of parallel track. Now, was this parallel reality there to begin with always, and we just kind of opened a portal? Or by virtue of sending him there did we actually create it? I think that’s actually, even headier. And the end of the movie, when she gets the text message, implies that Source Code‘s much more powerful than you realize. Vera Farmiga, we actually created you by sending me back on that train.


...we reset and we rejoin the story in a parallel reality. One where a train has not blown up on it’s way to Chicago, but (one where) poor Sean Fentress is now inhabited by Colter Stevens, and there is a body waiting to be sent on a mission at Vera Farmiga’s facility.

Did Rutledge know what the Source Code would do? Ripley refers to Rutledge as “the bad guy who’s just obsessed with the technology he created.” I think that indicates that he did know.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .