The Relic is a 1997 science fiction/horror film directed by Peter Hyams and based on the best-selling novel Relic by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. The film stars Penelope Ann Miller, Tom Sizemore and Linda Hunt. John Whitney (Lewis Van Bergen), an anthropologist for the Museum of Natural History in Chicago, is studying a newly discovered tribe in South America, and drinks a soup made for him by the tribesmen. A short time later, he is seen accosting the captain of a merchant ship, asking that the shipment he has sent back to Chicago be unloaded from the ship. When the captain informs him that it's too late because the ship is about to leave, Whitney sneaks aboard. As the ship leaves the dock, Whitney searches through the cargo hold for his crates, crying out in despair when he does not find what he's looking for.