One of the best modern adaptations of the works of Ray Bradbury, The Butterfly Effect (written and directed by Eric Bress and J. Mackye Gruber) was released on this day in 2004. The film stars Ashton Kutcher, Amy Smart, and Melora Walters; give the trailer and synopsis a spin below.
College student Evan Treborn (Ashton Kutcher) is afflicted with headaches so painful that he frequently blacks out. While unconscious, Evan is able to travel back in time to difficult moments in his childhood. He can also alter the past for friends, like Kayleigh (Amy Smart), who was molested by her father (Eric Stoltz). But changing the past can drastically alter the present, and Evan finds himself in nightmarish alternate realities, including one where he’s locked away in prison.
The Butterly Effect had THREE alternate endings “but the ‘director’s cut’ version is the best because it’s easily the most bonkers.” According to Screen Crush
“In this new ending, Evan gets admitted to a psychiatric facility. He manages to watch a video of when his mom was giving birth. He transports himself to that point in time and strangles himself with the umbilical cord. While his friends do not have to deal with a terrible childhood, his mother has to face the fact that she lost another child.” (Source)
Ashton Kutcher did extensive research on psychology, mental disorders, and chaos theory to prepare for his role in this film. (Source)
Elden Henson shot all of the later “normal” scenes with his character first because he had to gain around twenty pounds in one month for the later timelines in which his character is crazy. He was to look bigger as crazy Lenny and thinner as normal Lenny. To the filmmaker’s amazement, he accomplished this. (Source)