In the early years of the 22nd century, a medical rescue team is traveling the netherworlds of deep space, waiting to answer emergency calls aboard what amounts to an interstellar ambulance. Captain Marley (Robert Forster), pilot Vanzant (James Spader), medical officer Evers (Angela Bassett), medical technician Penalosa (Lou Diamond Phillips), paramedic Lund (Robin Tunney), and computer technician Sotomejor (Wilson Cruz) pick up a distress signal from a group of workers involved in a mining operation on a comet. But as they move in for a rescue, they discover that this isn't the mission of mercy they were expecting. They pick up Larson (Peter Facinelli), a mysterious and menacing man with a strange alien artifact, who draws the ship into the orbit of a huge star that is due to explode into a supernova at any time. Supernova had a production history that can be charitably described as "troubled." Australian filmmaker Geoffrey Wright was replaced by Walter Hill shortly before filming began. Actor Vincent D'Onofrio left the project shortly after Wright, replaced by Cruz. Hill then left the project in post-production and requested that his name be removed from the film. Francis Ford Coppola was hired to supervise a final re-cut, nearly a year after the completion of photography.