'Looper' Timeline Infographic, French Poster & Director's Commentary

October 9, 2012


The time travel sci-fi flick Looper has been in theaters for a little over a week now. Thankfully, the film has gotten a decent amount of attention, but there's no reason for the abysmal Taken 2 to get $50 million in the top spot at the box office while this original treasure from director Rian Johnson (Brick, The Brothers Bloom) just sits somewhere in the middle. We want to keep the hype going, so we've rounded up some of the cool Looper stuff floating around the web lately. The French poster, which looks like a pulp fiction book cover, is for everyone, but the other two items are only for those who have seem the movie, so everything after the poster below should be considered spoiler territory for those who don't want the movie ruined.

First up, here's the sweet French poster for Looper posted by our friends at IMPAwards:

Looper - French Poster

Meanwhile, for those who have seen Looper, how about an infographic to explain the time travel?

Looper - Timeline

Wired (via SlashFilm) put that graphic together, and they pose a very interesting question: "Can modifying the past significantly affect the future, or are some outcomes inevitable? While some aspects of the film clearly indicate that we can change our futures by changing our pasts, the open question we’re left with is whether Joe really is able to successfully alter a probable future?" That's up to you, the viewer, to decide.

And you might be able to figure that out a little bit better with a second viewing of the film. Or you might want to take the time to download a special audio commentary from director Rian Johnson. This is a completely different commentary than what will be on the eventual Blu-Ray/DVD release, and you can download it from the Looper Tumblr page right here to be played on your iPod, iPhone or other mobile audio device while watching. But obviously use headphones so as not to disturb the other people in the audience. That's all for now. Be sure to head to your local cinema and Looper again, or for your first time!

Find more posts: Cool Stuff, Hype, Sci-Fi



ok. Here is my problem with Looper. I love the concept and I am a huge fan of the idea of time travel. The problem that I have is that Looper lives in two distinct ideas of time travel and tries to incorporate both. The two central concepts of messing with time travel in movies are "instantaneous changes" and "parallel existence". This movie tries to play with both and it pulls me out of it. Paul Dano's character, Seth is chopped to bits in a warehouse somewhere and Old Seth starts losing fingers then hands then feet then legs. Let's think about this: Seth in 2044 starts getting his fingers chopped off because he let Old Seth escape, but merely by Young Seth being captured it set in motion the act of chopping fingers, hands, etc until he is killed which completely negates Old Seth from existence so he couldn't have escaped to make Young Seth get his fingers chopped off. Do you see? There are many such points in this movie. This negates the entire idea of time travel, which is that what happens always happens. The act of preventing something from happening is usually the catalyst for that thing happening. That being said, I really liked the movie. I am a nerd at heart and that nerd always loves to see a good sci-fi movie, flaws be damned. On a side note, if you want to watch the science of time travel at work, see Timecrimes by Nacho Vigalondo or (and I know I am going to get hell for this) see The Time Traveler's Wife.

thetylerw on Oct 9, 2012


I had the same exact thoughts about this. Even posted them in the now you have seen it section. Nice to see others have the same viewpoints.

Michael McRorey on Oct 9, 2012


Don't think about it.It will fry your brain. But yeah.Logic of this is kind of weird.I think the main problem is we tend to conceptualize time as two dimensional,a straight line from point a to point b.So jumping anywhere between those points i.e. time travel seems possible and the whole notion of cause and effect is handled in those terms. What is time actually?

wewe on Oct 9, 2012


Timecrimes is indeed a very good movie about Time travel worth watching!

Moutchy on Oct 9, 2012


I agree, but at the same as wewe said is we all have this idea like know what time actually is, its a subject which none of even the smartest people to ever live will figure out, its impossible. Thats why I loved this movie, it played with your head because it took what we as humans think we know about time and just turned on its head and shook it to death, and by the end your head was getting fryed because half of you is thinking "wait no, that makes no sense time travel is suppose to be like this" the other half is thinking "O shit what if it is actually like that?!?! AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!"

Cody W on Oct 9, 2012


io9 had a Q&A with Rian Johnson the other day and he stated that the idea was, that they would keep young Seth alive in this horrible state until he gets old. Sort of like the absolute last resort, as the Rainmaker thinks it's still better than letting the older version roam free. Apparently Ape even said something about it, beeing super awful or whatever, but i didn't quite catch that. Regardless of that, i loved the scene, as it set up the the rules of this world, and the stakes brilliantly.

max on Oct 10, 2012


Okay, maybe I'm wrong here but this is how I saw it... By Young Joe killing himself in the Altered Path, everything reverted back to the Original Path. My thinking is that in the Original Path, Sara and Cyd never had any interaction with Joe at all. Sara raised Cyd and he became the Rainmaker and he went around killing everyone in the future, that being said the people in the future he killed were the villains right, so is that necessarily a bad thing? Therefore wouldn't the completion of the Altered Path be that Sara still raises Cyd and he becomes the Rainmaker. I mean even with everything that happened she isn't going to raise him much differently right (even with all the gold)? So the through line could be, even though Young Joe tried to change time, time found a way for things to end up the same anyway?

MKWin on Oct 10, 2012


But by changing time, he altered the path where Old Joe would have come back, thus completely negating the entire killing of the other kids and Young Joe even meeting Sara and Cyd being hunted down and Sara being killed by Old Joe causing him to become the Rainmaker. Sploosh!!! (sound of brain exploding) Any movie that causes this much discussion about time travel is a good one in my book.

thetylerw on Oct 10, 2012


Yeah too many examples of this type of time paradox for me to truly enjoy this film. I don't understand how so many time travel lovers could enjoy it so much. That first scene with the old guy losing fingers and stuff bothered the crap out of me for the rest of the movie. The ending completely ruined it for me for the exact reason you said. Him killing himself there meant that old Joe never would have gone to the past and killed anyone at all. Meaning all the thugs he killed should have at the same instant appeared somewhere. Actually if you look at it like that then actually the kid and Sara should teleport back to their house with no memory of it and young joe should appear somewhere else alive and well back with his thug friends...or's just too messy. Crappy time travel logic made for a movie I just couldn't fully appreciate.

Kyle Brubaker on Oct 10, 2012


But there is no "original path".That's just what happened to the old Joe.The one that killed himself,closed the loop the first time around."Original path" is erased from reality we observe throughout the movie once the young Joe kills himself,shoots himself in the heart before old Joe kills the kid.So the future is unknown again. You are thinking in terms of destiny and predetermination.I don't think universe in the movie is set up in that way. They kill the older loopers,they close the loops because it's bad for the criminals and their enterprise,they protect the mafia in the future not the universe itself.

Herbert on Oct 10, 2012


Looper was good, but not great. It's overrated by critics. There are sections of the movie that just drag on and on and that should not be.

castingcouch on Oct 11, 2012


The real problem of this time travel movie is that its premise doesn't work. Youg Joe kills his old self and gets rich then old then goes back to time and the loop repeats forever. Period. There is no way no reason for Joe to change this outcome the 2nd time. The picture above is clear but the movie itself doesn't work. Look at the blue "ORIGINAL PATH". The 1st event you see is" youg joe kills old joe". But there must have been a young Joe becoming old and being sent back to his young self in order for this to happen. Thus, there scheme is incomplete because it's not an arrow, but it's already a loop in the 1st time.

Anna Venturi on Feb 4, 2013

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