A biologist’s husband disappears. She puts her name forward for an expedition into an environmental disaster zone, but does not find what she’s expecting. The expedition team is made up of the biologist, an anthropologist, a psychologist, a surveyor, and a linguist.
Due to a poorly received test screening, David Ellison, a financier at Paramount, became concerned that the film was “too intellectual” and “too complicated,” and demanded changes to make it appeal to a wider audience, including making Natalie Portman’s character more sympathetic and changing the ending. Producer Scott Rudin sided with Garland in his desire to not alter the film, defending the film and refusing to take notes. Rudin had final cut.