Directing his first film since 1998's Lethal Weapon 4, Richard Donner helmed this big-budget adaptation of Michael Crichton's novel of the same name. Featuring a script by first-time screenwriter George Nolfi, Timeline begins in France in the near future. A group of students from Yale are there studying a medieval site, when their professor, played by Billy Connolly, mysteriously goes missing. To make matters more enigmatic, the students are then taken back to the United States by a shadowy technology company called ITC, led by Robert Doniger (David Thewlis). The eccentric Doniger explains that because of a machine that his company built, their professor is trapped in 14th century France. In order to rescue him, two of the students, Chris Hughes (Paul Walker) and Kate Erickson (Frances O'Connor), along with Andre Marek (Gerard Butler), an archeological site manager, must travel to France, circa 1357, amid archaic war, deadly diseases, and other unexpected pitfalls. Meanwhile, David Stern (Ethan Embry), a third student, stays behind to keep an eye on the shady Doniger.