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The credits cite the bestselling book Fingerprints of the Gods by author Graham Hancock as inspiration for the film, and in an interview with the London magazine Time Out, Emmerich states:

"I always wanted to do a biblical flood movie, but I never felt I had the hook. I first read about the Earth's Crust Displacement Theory in Graham Hancock's Fingerprints of the Gods."

Director Emmerich and composer-producer Harald Kloser had an extremely close relationship and also co-wrote a spec script entitled 2012, which was marketed to major studios in February 2008.

Nearly all studios met with Emmerich and his representatives to hear the director's budget projection and story plans, a process that the director had previously gone through with the films Independence Day (1996) and The Day After Tomorrow (2004).

Later that month, Sony Pictures Entertainment won the rights for the spec script, planning to distribute it under Columbia Pictures and was produced for less than budgeted. According to Emmerich, the film was eventually produced for about $200 million.

Filming was originally scheduled to begin in Los Angeles, California, in July 2008[3] but instead commenced in Kamloops, Savona, Cache Creek and Ashcroft in British Columbia, Canada. Due to the possible 2008 Screen Actors Guild strike, filmmakers set up a contingency plan for salvaging the film.

Uncharted Territory, Digital Domain, Double Negative, Scanline, Sony Pictures Imageworks and others were hired to create computer animated visual effects for 2012.

Although the film depicts the destruction of several major cultural and historical icons around the world, Emmerich stated that the Kaaba was also considered for selection. Kloser opposed the idea out of fear that a fatwa might be issued against him.

The film was promoted in a marketing campaign by a fictional organization, the "Institute for Human Continuity"; this entailed a fictitious book written by Jackson Curtis entitled Farewell Atlantis, and streaming media, blog updates and radio broadcasts from the apocalyptic zealot Charlie Frost on his website This Is The End.

On November 12, 2008, the new studio released the first teaser trailer for 2012 that showed a tsunami surging over the Himalayas and interlaced a purportedly scientific message suggesting that the world would end in 2012, and that the world's governments were not preparing its population for the event.

The trailer ended with a message to viewers to "find out the truth" by searching "2012" on search engines. The Guardian criticized the marketing effectiveness as "deeply flawed" and associated it with "websites that make even more spurious claims about 2012".

The studio also launched a viral marketing website operated by the fictional Institute for Human Continuity, where filmgoers could register for a lottery number to be part of a small population that would be rescued from the global destruction.

David Morrison of NASA received over 1000 inquiries from people who thought the website was genuine, and condemned it. "I've even had cases of teenagers writing to me saying they are contemplating suicide because they don't want to see the world end," he said.

"I think when you lie on the internet and scare children to make a buck, that is ethically wrong." Another viral marketing website promotes Farewell Atlantis, a fictional suspense novel about the events of 2012.

Comcast had also organized a "roadblock campaign" to promote the film, where a two-minute scene from the film was broadcast across 450 American commercial television networks, local English-language and Spanish-language stations, and 89 cable outlets within a ten-minute window between 10:50 PM EDT/PDT and 11:00 PM EDT/PDT on October 1, 2009.

The scene featured the destruction of Los Angeles and ended with a cliffhanger, with the entire 5-minute-38-second clip made available on Comcast's Fancast web site.

The trade newspaper Variety estimated that, "The stunt will put the footage in front of 90% of all households watching ad-supported TV, or nearly 110 million viewers. When combined with online and mobile streams, that could increase to more than 140 million".

The original score for the film was composed by Harald Kloser and Thomas Wanker. Singer Adam Lambert contributed a song for the film titled "Time for Miracles" and expressed his gratitude for the opportunity in an interview with MTV.

The film's soundtrack consists of 24 tracks, and it includes the songs "Fades Like a Photograph" by Filter and "It Ain't the End of the World", performed by George Segal and Blu Mankuma, which were featured in the film. The trailer music was Master of Shadows by Two Steps From Hell.

North Korea has reportedly banned possession or viewing of the film. The year 2012 is the 100th anniversary of the birth of the nation's founder, Kim Il-sung, and has been designated by the North Korean government as "the year for opening the grand gates to becoming a rising superpower".

Thus a movie depicting the year in a negative light is found to be offensive by the North Korean government. Several people in North Korea have reportedly been arrested for possessing or viewing pirated copies of the movie and charged with "grave provocation against the development of the state."

In 2010, Entertainment Weekly announced that there had been a plan for a spin-off television series entitled 2013 that would have served as a follow-up to the film.

Executive producer of 2012 Mark Gordon told EW that "ABC will have an opening in their disaster-related programming after Lost ends, so people would be interested in this topic on a weekly basis. There's hope for the world despite the magnitude of the 2012 disaster as seen in the film.

After the movie, there are some people who survive, and the question is how will these survivors build a new world and what will it look like. That might make an interesting TV series." However, plans were later scrapped due to future budget concerns.

This would have been Emmerich's third film to get a spinoff, the first being Stargate (with its TV series Stargate SG-1, Stargate Infinity, Stargate Atlantis, Stargate Universe), and the second being Godzilla (with its cartoon spin-off Godzilla: The Series).

Highlighting the awards for 2012, the film won Satellite Awards for Best Sound (Mixing and Editing) and Best Visual Effects. The film received a number of other nominations including Saturn Awards' Best Action and Best Special Effects; BFCA Awards' Best Visual Effects; among others.

Resources: Wikipedia.org, imdb.com

You can't get any more apocalyptic than Roland Emmerich's 2012, a frustrated writer struggles to keep his family alive when a series of global catastrophes threatens to annihilate mankind. Though the film is often categorized as sci-fi, it could be said this falls within the action disaster genre. Or it could fall within the sub-genre Environmental Sci-Fi. Whichever genre or sub-genre you prefer to view it as, there's no doubt this film has a truck load of apocalyptic disasters.

Plot & Screenshots

2009, Adrian Helmsley (Chiwetel Ejiofor), an American geologist, visits astrophysicist Dr. Satnam Tsurutani (Jimi Mistry) in India and learns that neutrinos from a massive solar flare are causing the temperature of the Earth's core to increase rapidly.

Adrian gives a report on this to White House Chief of Staff Carl Anheuser (Oliver Platt) who ends up taking Adrian to meet the President of the United States. In 2010, President Thomas Wilson (Danny Glover) and other international leaders begin a secret project to ensure humanity's survival.

Approximately 400,000 people are chosen to board "arks" that are constructed at Cho Ming, Tibet, in the Himalayas. At the same time as the People's Liberation Army are gathering volunteers, a Buddhist monk named Nima (Osric Chau) is evacuated while his brother Tenzin (Chin Han) joins the workers in the Ark project.

Additional funding for the project is raised by selling tickets to the private sector for 1 billion per person. By 2011, humanity's valuable treasures are moved to the Himalayas under the guise of protecting them from terrorist attacks with the help of art expert and First Daughter Dr. Laura Wilson (Thandie Newton).

In 2012, Jackson Curtis (John Cusack) is a science fiction writer in Los Angeles who works part-time as a limousine driver for the Russian billionaire, Yuri Karpov (Zlatko Buri). Jackson's ex-wife, Kate (Amanda Peet) and their children Noah (Liam James) and Lilly (Morgan Lily) live with Kate's boyfriend, plastic surgeon Gordon Silberman (Thomas McCarthy).

Jackson takes Noah and Lilly camping in Yellowstone National Park. After an encounter with Helmsley, they meet Charlie Frost (Woody Harrelson), who hosts a radio show from the park. Charlie, a conspiracy theorist, plays a video of Charles Hapgood's theory that polar shifts and the Mesoamerican Long Count Calendar predict that the 2012 phenomenon will occur.

He has a map of the ark project in addition to information about officials and scientists from around the world who were murdered after planning to alert the public. The family returns home as seismic activity vastly increases along the west coast of the United States.

Jackson grows suspicious and rents a plane to rescue his family. He collects his family and Gordon as the Earth crust displacement begins, and they narrowly escape Los Angeles as the city slips into the Pacific Ocean. As millions die in catastrophic earthquakes worldwide, the group flies to Yellowstone to retrieve Charlie's map, escaping as the Yellowstone Caldera erupts.

Charlie stays behind to broadcast the eruption and is killed in the blast of the expulsion of an ash cloud. Learning that the arks are in China, the group lands in a devastated Las Vegas to find a larger plane. They meet Yuri, his twin sons Alec and Oleg (played by Alexandre and Philippe Haussmann), girlfriend Tamara (Beatrice Rosen) and pilot Sasha (Johann Urb).

The group secures an Antonov An-225 aircraft and they depart for China. Also heading for the arks aboard Air Force One are Anheuser, Helmsley and Laura Wilson. President Wilson remains in Washington, D.C. to address the nation one last time.

With the Vice President dead and the Speaker of the House missing, Anheuser assumes de facto leadership. President Wilson is later killed by a megatsunami that sends the aircraft carrier USS JohnF.Kennedy crashing into the White House.

Sasha and the group plan to land briefly at Hawaii to refuel, however, the island chain has been devastated by volcanic activity. Continuing on, Sasha fears they may run out of fuel before making it to mainland Asia. They discover that the seismic activity of the Earth's surface has shifted the Chinese coast 1500 miles east and they are able to make a crash landing that kills Sasha.

The group is spotted by the People's Liberation Army. Yuri and his sons, possessing tickets, are taken to the arks, leaving Tamara and the others behind. They are picked up by Nima and are taken to the arks with his grandparents (Lisa Lu and Chang Tseng).

They stow away on the ark with the help of Tenzin. As a megatsunami approaches the site, an impact driver becomes lodged between the gears of the ark's hydraulics chamber, preventing a boarding gate from closing and rendering the ship unable to start its engines.

In the ensuing chaos, Yuri, Gordon and Tamara are killed, Tenzin is wounded, and the ark is set adrift. Just before he dies, Yuri is able hoist both his sons up to crew members of the ship; in doing so, he jumps to his death. Jackson and Noah dislodge the impact driver and the crew regains control of the ark before it can impact Mount Everest.

After flood waters from the tsunamis recede, the arks travel to the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa where the Drakensberg Mountains have risen in relation to sea level and become the tallest mountain range on Earth.


2012 earned $166,112,167 in North America and $603,567,306 in other territories for a worldwide total of $769,679,473. Worldwide it is the 47th highest grossing film, the fifth highest-grossing 2009 film and the fifth highest-grossing film distributed by Sony/Columbia, behind Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy and Skyfall.

It is also the second highest grossing film directed by Emmerich, behind Independence Day. On its worldwide opening weekend it made $230.5 million, marking the fourth-largest opening of 2009 and the fourth-largest for Sony/Columbia.

In North America, it grossed $65,237,614 on its first weekend, ranking number one and marking the 10th highest-grossing opening weekend for a film released in November. The film grossed $166,112,167 in total. Outside North America, it is the 19th highest-grossing film, the fourth highest-grossing 2009 film and the second highest-grossing film distributed by Sony/Columbia, after Skyfall.

It earned $165.2 million on its opening weekend, which ranks as the 10th largest opening. Its largest opening was recorded in France and the Maghreb region ($18.0 million). In total earnings, its three highest-grossing territories after North America are France and the Maghreb region ($44.0 million), Japan ($42.6 million), and Germany ($37.7 million).

The film received generally mixed reviews from film critics. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a rating of 39% based on reviews from 238 critics have given the film a positive review, with a rating average of 5 out of 10.

The site's consensus is that "Roland Emmerich's 2012 provides plenty of visual thrills, but lacks a strong enough script to support its massive scope and inflated length." Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score out of 1�100 reviews from film critics, gives a rating score of 49 based on 34 reviews.

Roger Ebert was enthusiastic about the film, giving it 3� stars out of 4, saying it "delivers what it promises, and since no sentient being will buy a ticket expecting anything else, it will be, for its audiences, one of the most satisfactory films of the year".

Both Ebert and Claudia Puig of USA Today called the film the "mother of all disaster movies". Peter Travers of Rolling Stone criticized the film by comparing it to Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen: "Beware 2012, which works the dubious miracle of almost matching Transformers 2 for sheer, cynical, mind-numbing, time-wasting, money-draining, soul-sucking stupidity."

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