I vaguely recall this movie and desperately want to identify what it is. These are the memories I have of it.

  • Father (main character) makes the decision not to pursue career and focus on his family (wife and one kid) while old friend/nemesis become very successful.
  • Family gets kidnapped or threaten by someone who turns out is the main character but from a different timeline where he became a renowned scientist and built a box-like machine to travel across realities. This machine requires some kind of serum to be used.
  • He visits multiple realities including one where the world is covered in snow completely frozen and another one with a plague killing most people.
  • Family is saved but a ton of additional copies of himself show up also wanting to get their family back (but there is a single copy of said family). Cliffhanger is a huge fight in some remote cabin where they were trying to hide from them.
  • Turns out the machine is controlled by emotions so the kid is in charge of relocating the family, this way the other copies of the protagonist won't find them.

I have a very visual memory, I don't recall any name sadly. Thanks for your help!

  • Hi, welcome to SF&F! Lots of good details there; do you recall when you saw this? The language it was in? Was it live-action or animated?
    – DavidW
    Aug 16, 2021 at 17:51
  • Hi! It was English and live action. However I don't remember when I saw that. Definitely in the last 10 years :/ Aug 16, 2021 at 17:59
  • I'm certain this isn't what you recall (because it was a series that ran at least three seasons) but this reminds me a good bit of one of the sub-plots for Fringe.
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Aug 16, 2021 at 18:29
  • I can remember a lot of simialr stories: Rick & Morty, Bioshock: Infinite, Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse. Nothing on this specifically. But maybe it now has a TV Tropes page, where you can find it? Aug 16, 2021 at 18:31
  • From the title I would say very definitely Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse
    – Möoz
    Aug 17, 2021 at 4:07

1 Answer 1


This is the 2016 novel Dark Matter, by Blake Crouch.

You hit all of the highlights, but here's some of the plot summary from Wikipedia:

Jason Dessen, a former quantum mechanics physicist, is a college physics professor who lives in Chicago with his wife, Daniela and their son Charlie. One day Jason is kidnapped and drugged. He wakes up in a science laboratory and stumbles out of a metal cube. He discovers that he is in an alternate Chicago where, fifteen years previously, he had decided not to marry Daniela and had pursued his career as a physicist instead. In this world he built the cube that enables the occupants to move between the countless worlds created from every possible outcome of every event.

Wikipedia says that they are working on a television adaptation, but it's still in production. There's a movie from 2007 and a television series from 2015 that share the novel's title, but both appear to be unrelated.

I listened to the audiobook through my local library, which I would recommend.

  • Question asks for a movie, though...
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Aug 16, 2021 at 18:55
  • 2
    Originally I thought that the novel had already been adapted for the screen, and that the OP had seen what I read. The OP's description is way to precise to be anything but this novel. An adaptation, even a television series, would likely skip things like the plague dimension. My guess would be that the OP listened to the audiobook or maybe read the novel and their memory is filling in the visuals (which is a normal thing that brains do). I'll leave that to the OP to confirm, though you can read for yourself how well Wikipedia's summary matches the OP's description. Aug 16, 2021 at 19:01
  • 21
    Oh, I agree, it's a very good match. Maybe the OP is from a timeline where the book came out years earlier and was immediately made into a movie? ;)
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Aug 16, 2021 at 19:07
  • 10
    I had a look and everything matches, including the name of the characters! Turns out it was a book and not a movie. This is the strangest feeling: the pictures I remember are so vivid it's hard to believe it wasn't real. Thank you very much, I'll mark this question as resolved. See you in the next timeline ;) Aug 16, 2021 at 20:32
  • Comments cleared up, whilst it was an interesting discussion it was mostly tangential/irrelevant to the question/answer here. If you want to carry it on please take it to Science Fiction & Fantasy Chat.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Aug 17, 2021 at 10:58

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