Starring: John Cusack, Amanda Peet, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Thandie
Newton, Danny Glover and Oliver Platt Director: Roland Emmerich
U.S. Opening Date: November 13th, 2009
Director Roland Emmerich, who had loads of practice
destroying major landmarks in
The Day After Tomorrow and the
Godzilla remake, will direct this
disaster movie based on the ancient Mayan prophecies foretelling the end
of the world in the year 2012.
Well, actually the Mayans' ancient calendar just
abruptly stops on December 21, 2012 but some New Age types (and Hollywood
producers!) have taken this to be a very bad thing as opposed to a simple
lack of foresight. Go figure.
“Go on the Internet and type 2012 into a search engine.
That’s what I did two years ago when I was researching the subject of my
next film. The results were fascinating: no fewer than 240 million sites
came up!” Emmerich recently told Fantastique magazine. “Well, you
know I adore catastrophe movies. I had declared that I would not make
another, but the opportunity was too tempting. Why not make the greatest
film of its kind? And then, this time, it’s not about manmade destruction,
but a natural disaster on a grand scale. After 2012 no one will be
able or will want to make another film of this genre for a long time! So,
for me, the famous Mayan prophecy inspired an excellent story. In fact,
it’s the world’s oldest story: the myth of The Flood.”
The story begins with an American scientist discovering
that the sun is undergoing enormously intense storms. Realizing the
serious impact such a storm can have on the Earth he contacts a scientific
advisor to the White House. But the head of the Cabinet, full of himself,
will not allow him to warn the President. A year later, finally catching
onto the danger, the President organizes a secret meeting with all the
major leaders of the planet. The civilian population is however not
alerted of the danger and has no idea of the impending cataclysm. At the
beginning of the year 2012 the first signs of the apocalypse however
become apparent: earthquakes on the West Coast, gigantic landslides,
fissures in the surface of the Earth.
The movie then shifts focus onto the family of the hero
(John Cusack), a limousine chauffeur who is a writer in his free time.
They have to survive earthquakes that plague Los Angeles (so what else is
new?), volcanic eruptions, acid rain and tsunamis. Cusack's character soon
discovers that world leaders have financed a mysterious project that will
allow the elite to survive and later rebuild civilization. But will the
Noah’s Ark of the third millennium have any place for ordinary civilians
who only wish to escape the second Flood?
As the trailer puts it, “How will the governments of
the world help six billion face the end of the world? Answer: They will
2012 is said to be budgeted at $200 million - a
new record for Emmerich.
“Yes, the movie’s very costly,” the director admitted
in the same interview with Fantastique. “But it’s the end of the
world after all! The financiers who read the script agreed: we couldn’t do
it without that sum. When Harald Kloser and I wrote the screenplay we
never even thought about the necessary budget. We simply wrote the story
we wanted to see. It was only after having finished the screenplay that we
asked ourselves how we are going to put all of this onto the screen? It’s
true that all that money puts more weight on our shoulders. But I think
the adrenaline allows us to surpass ourselves and make an even better work
. . .”