‘Palm Springs’ Writer Reveals How Long the Characters Were Really Stuck in the Time Loop
Palm Springs is a new comedy from Hulu, co-produced by Andy Samberg — who also co-stars alongside Cristin Milioti. In the Groundhog Day-esque movie, Samberg takes on the role of Nyles, who accidentally gets himself stuck in the same day, forced to live it over and over again. Palm Springs never explicitly states how long Nyles has to relive the time loop — but the screenwriter had a specific timeline in mind. How many times did Nyles (and Milioti’s character, Sarah) really have to live through the exact same 24 hours?
[Spoiler alert for the movie Palm Springs].
‘Palm Springs’: how the Hulu comedy movie came together thanks in part to The Lonely Island
Recently, Palm Springs screenwriter Andy Siara sat down with Decider to talk about his new Hulu movie. Originally, he and the director, Max Barbakow, only had the inkling to make a movie set in Palm Springs — nothing more, creatively. They eventually connected with Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, and Jorma Taccone (known collectively as The Lonely Island), who produced the Hulu flick.
“We met with Andy and Akiva and … it was love at first sight,” Siara told the publication. The Palm Springs scribe continued on the collaborative efforts that built the film:
They came in when the script was … let’s say the 70-yard line. Max and I learned so much about storytelling from them. We developed third act stuff with them for a couple of months before we took it out to town.
How long is the main character Nyles really stuck in the ‘Palm Springs’ time loop?
At one point in Hulu’s Palm Springs, Sarah asks Nyles what he did before he got stuck in the same day. He can’t remember. That, as well as the montage of activities that Sarah and Nyles engage in, goes to show how long they’ve been idling in the time loop. But how long is it exactly?
“I don’t know if I’m supposed to say exactly,” Siara admitted. “But Nyles has in there for over 40 years.” Whoa. We can’t say we were expecting that much life — all inside one day. Siara also acknowledged that the timeline was originally going to be made clearer in Palm Springs. But, the message still remained:
There are versions of the script where—mainly when Sarah comes in—I put titles in of how much time has passed. The main thing I hope got across was that a lot of time had passed. A lifetime of memories has passed, basically.
Clearly, Sarah hasn’t been in the time loop as long as Nyles — but considering the things they do together, it seems like months, potentially years, are passing, for her, too. (After all, she learns Quantum Physics within the time loop).
The Hulu movie director, screenwriter, and producers disagreed a bit on the timeline
However, in an interview with CinemaBlend, Samberg revealed that there was some disagreement between the Palm Springs creative team on how much time Nyles really spent there.
“In my mind, it has been this amount of time,” Samberg shared. “And I was like, ‘Well for me, it’s this amount.’” Others would tell him: “‘It doesn’t matter; just go with whatever.’” But the overall gist still stands.
“The point is, it’s a long time,” the Palm Springs star said.