Will the world end on 2012?

John Cusack runs for his life in the upcoming disaster epic 2012. This movie is directed by Roland Emmerich, the same man behind Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow.

Centuries ago, the Mayans left us their calendar, with a clear end-date and all that it implies. Ever since astrologers discovered it, numerologists have found patterns that depict that final day, geologists say the earth is overdue for it, and even government scientists cannot deny the cataclysm of epic proportions that awaits the earth in 2012. A prophecy that began with the Mayans has now been well-chronicled, discussed, taken apart and examined. By 2012, we’ll know. We were warned.

Columbia Pictures presents the Roland Emmerich film, 2012 starring John Cusack, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Amanda Peet, Oliver Platt, Thandie Newton, with Danny Glover and Woody Harrelson.

The idea for 2012 first occurred to writer-producer Harald Kloser, Roland Emmerich’s writing partner. "Every civilization on Earth has a flood myth," says Kloser. "Things are going wrong, society isn’t working anymore, and the planet starts over. Some people get a second chance to start a new culture, a new society, a new civilization."

The idea crystallized as Kloser and Emmerich discovered a compelling hook on which to hang their contemporary flood story. The Mayan calendar is set to reach the end of its 13th cycle on December 21, 2012. Nothing follows that date. That, of course, leads to the question: If the calendar doesn’t continue, what comes next?

The key for the director, who is well known for box-office hits such as Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow, would be to find a way to set 2012 apart from those disaster epics. "The more I talked with Harald about the story, the more I realized this is really something people today can relate to. There are a lot of philosophical and political elements, which I think add to the disaster element."

Central to that was creating characters that would experience those philosophical and political upheavals, in effect creating the disaster on a human scale. At the very highest reaches of the world’s governments, there is a plan. They will not be able to save the entire human race, but they will be able to save some, and those few will have the chance to begin society anew.

The screenplay that Kloser and Emmerich wrote is in many ways the largest scale that Emmerich has yet attempted. To bring it to the screen, he combines special and visual effects that, the director says, allowed him the freedom to choose how best to bring a scene to life.

2012 ended up being an enormous production, even by Emmerich’s scale. According to actor John Cusack, "The scope of it is bigger than anything I’ve seen. Every page of the script was a scene where you wondered just what Roland had in mind, because it seemed so ambitious, so huge. It’s pretty wild!"

Opening soon across the Philippines, 2012 is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.



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