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"Timeline" (2003) -- Novel Crichton went out with a humdinger, “Timeline,” the story of a group of time-traveling historians who jet back to the middle ages. The $80-million dollar film starred Gerald Butler and Paul Walker and bombed miserably. Crichton, director Richard Donner, and producer Lauren Shuler-Donner had opted to forego their usual fees for a larger share of the first dollar gross. Uh-oh. Stephen Vaughan