Charlie Rutherford is the main antagonist of the 2012 British science fiction adventure film The Dinosaur Project.
He was portrayed by Peter Brooke.
Although he is the main antagonist of the film, Charlie does not show his villainy until near the end of the film. Before then, he appears as a confident, responsible, and authoritative gentlemen who cope with Luke about the differences between him and his father Jonathan. However, Charlie's true intentions are that of a greedy and arrogant individual who shows no empathy and will easily do anything in order to earn his share of the bargain for the expedition, even if he will have a kill. Despite being fearless and courageous towards other humans, he does seem to be quite cowardly and pusillanimous towards the native dinosaurs of the island, especially towards the ones in swarms or by large sizes.
A group of explorers from the British Cryptozoological Society go on an expedition to the Congo in search for the existence of Mokele-mbembe. Among the group is their leader Jonathan, their sponsor organizer Charlie, their medic Liz, their pilot, their cameramen Dave and Pete, a local guide named Amara, and Luke, Jonathan’s son who sneaks aboard their helicopter to experience his father’s adventure.
Arriving at the Congo, they spot multiple flying reptiles flying across a village next to the river, one of which collides into the helicopter’s blade, crashing it and killing the pilot, while also destroying most of their equipment, including their satellite phone. The remaining members make their way to the village, only to find all the villagers dead. They decide to make camp for the night in the last standing hut, discussing what to do next. Luke’s security camera installed outside of the hut tracks multiple bat-like beasts outside. Charlie accidentally alerts the herd when he shuts off the computer monitor, resulting in the crew fleeing to the river with wooden boats stationed by the village, but lose Liz when she trips and is quickly killed by the swarm.
The group find themselves on an island in the middle of the river and make another camp, spotting small dinosaurs, one of which takes interest in Luke, naming it Crypto after it spits a fluid into Luke's face. He manages to attach a camera onto Crypto’s neck, but it loses functionality when Crypto and the other dinosaurs swim into a cave. Charlie wants the group to go straight to the cave, believing it to be a gateway to where the dinosaurs are coming from, while Jonathan wants to return to civilization as he does not wish to lose any more comrades on the expedition.
When Luke manages to get Crypto’s camera back online, showing the youngling got it off at its nesting area, Charlie convinces Luke to accompany him in finding Crypto's nest to prove his father wrong of the gateway's potential. The two attempt to escape through the second boat into the gateway, but are caught by Jonathan, who demands the two to turn around. He changes his mind once he spots a Plesiosaur, likely their discovery of Mokele-mbembe, when suddenly a Pliosaur attacks the boats, sinking one and killing Dave, with the recoil knocking Charlie and Luke towards the shore, continuing their search for the dinosaurs’ whereabouts, a nearby jungle. At the top of a cliff looking up from the gateway, Luke manages to fix the satellite phone, Charlie thanks him for his help before suddenly pushing Luke down into the gateway.
Luke, surviving the fall, runs off to warn the others about Charlie’s true intentions, coming across Crypto and the bats from before, only to be saved by Pete and Jonathan, both of whom ran off from Amara after she revealed they were never meant to land on the island and leaves with the last boat. Pete chases the bats off into the forest but is presumably killed in the process, while Luke and Jonathan make their way across a steep cliff way to return to their camp, but are hit by a sudden rockfall, pinning Jonathan against the cliff’s edge. Luke looks up and sees Charlie holding a large stick as the source of the rockfall. Luke attempts to help his father, but knowing that his son’s life is not worth risking, Jonathan allows himself to fall from the cliff to his death.
Luke follows Crypto to his nesting ground, finding his missing camera, when suddenly Charlie emerges in front of him, revealing his plan to kill off the remaining survivors of the expectation and earn all the credit of the discovery for himself. Charlie lunges at Luke and Crypto using a large leg bone but is halted by the arrival of two large dinosaurs, hearing the cries of their baby. Smelling the spit on Luke, Crypto's parents ignore him and drag Charlie off into the forest to kill their unwanted guest.