In the film, Wilson the volleyball serves as Chuck Noland's personified friend and only companion during the four years that Noland spends alone on a deserted island. The character was created by screenwriter William Broyles Jr. While researching for the film, he consulted with professional survival experts, and then chose to deliberately strand himself for one week on an isolated beach in the Sea of Cortez, to force himself to search for water and food, and obtain his own shelter. During this time, a volleyball washed up on shore. This was the inspiration for the film's inanimate companion.