Global Warming Movie Update
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In yesterday's edition of Whitley Strieber's "Unknown Country" newsletter
(http://www.unknowncountry.com/), Strieber announced that production has
begun on a movie that is inspired by Art Bell and Strieber's book "The
Coming Global Superstorm". The film, presently called "The Day After
Tomorrow," is being made by Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin, who made
"Independence Day" and "the Patriot". It is expected to be released in July
More information about the upcoming movie can be found on Yahoo's Movie
website (see below). I have also included links to a few related websites,
including an earlier story about this movie that was sent out in May of this
--- David Sunfellow
"The Coming Global Superstorm"
By Art Bell & Whitley Strieber
THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW
By Greg Dean Schmitz
Release Date: Summer, 2003
MPAA Rating Note: (7/18/02) Nothing's official until the MPAA sees the final
cut, but with a $100+ million budget on the line, it's pretty much a
certainty that Fox and Emmerich will make any cuts necessary to secure a
Distributor: 20th Century Fox
Distributor Note: (7/18/02) 20th Century Fox won the rights to finance and
distribute this project after the CAA talent agency announced the "package"
of director Roland Emmerich, producer Mark Gordon and the script's
big-budget "summer tentpole" concept. CAA announced it on Wednesday, May
1st, and by Friday, May 3rd, Fox had won the auction, beating out bids from
DreamWorks, Paramount, Universal and Warner Bros. (source: Michael Fleming,
"Variety). One of the key conditions to the auction was that the winning
studio had to promise to greenlight the film in time for a big summer, 2003
Production Company: Mark Gordon Productions (Saving Private Ryan, The League
of Extraordinary Gentlemen)
Cast: Dennis Quaid (Professor Adrian Hall), Jake Gyllenhaal (Samuel Hall),
Emmy Rossum; other cast not announced yet.
Director: Roland Emmerich (The Patriot, Godzilla, Independence Day,
Stargate, Universal Soldier)
Screenwriter: Roland Emmerich (cowriter of Godzilla, Independence Day,
Stargate), Jeffrey Nachmanoff (cowriter of 1993's 'The Big Gig')
Not Based Upon: (7/18/02) This movie has nothing to do with the 1994
best-selling novel, "The Day After Tomorrow", by Allan Folsom, which
producer Alan Ladd, Jr. still has in development, though I'm guessing it'll
have to get a title change, or something, if/when it's actually produced.
Pierce Brosnan was long attached to star in the conspiracy-driven thriller
about an American visiting Paris who sees the man who killed his father 25
Premise: This movie takes a big-budget, special-effects-filled look at what
the world would look like if the greenhouse effect and global warming
continued at such levels that they resulted in worldwide catastrophe and
disaster, including multiple hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes (I don't
quite get the science of that one), tidal waves, floods and the beginning of
the next Ice Age. At the center of the story is a paleoclimatologist (a
scientist who studies the ways weather patterns changed in the past),
Professor Adrian Hall (Quaid), who tries to save the world from the effects
of global warning while also trying to get to his son, Sam (Gyllenhaal), who
was in New York City as part of an Academic Decathalon competition, when the
city was overwhelmed by the chilling beginnings of the new Ice Age. In
addition to all of the other challenges Dr. Hall faces, he's also going
against the flow as humanity races south to warmer climes, and he's nearly
the only one going north... (Rossum plays another Academic Decathlon
student, and Gyllenhaal's romantic interest)
Filming: Production is scheduled to start on November 4th, 2002 in Montreal
(originally announced as Toronto, but Montreal must have offered a better
deal or something), on a budget somewhere in the $100-125 million range.
Genre: Action, Eye Candy, Science Fiction, Thriller
Character Descriptions: FilmJerk.com (has descriptions of some of the major
characters, from a casting call sheet sent to agents, etc.):
EXCERPTED FROM FILMJERK:
The storyline: A climatological disruption of inconceivable proportions
ravages the world, sending millions of terrified survivors surging South.
Surging in the other direction, however, is Professor Adrian Hall, a
brilliant paleoclimatologist whose own son Sam may still be alive in New
York City, now a frozen wasteland.
The call has gone out for the following roles:
Professor Adrian Hall: 45 years old and a weathered, compelling individual.
A brilliant and world-renowned scientist specializing in the field of
paleoclimatology, a weather detective investigating the climatological
changes of past millennia. Adrian is a study in contradictions, an elegant
and well-bred autocrat whose accent and attitude are pure Texas roughneck.
Sam Hall: Adrian's only son. A sullen, smart, cocky and insecure 17 year old
who has been frittering away his high school years, smoking pot and refusing
to take things very seriously. Even though his grades do not reflect the
fact, Sam is an intrinsically bright kid who joined the school's champion
academic decathlon team -- more so as a pretext to be near his teammate
Laura, his secret idol, than because of any real interest in scholarship.
Laura: Also 17, a pretty, serious and absolutely confident that she knows
what she wants out of life: namely, an education at Harvard and a
flourishing career at the top of whatever field she chooses. A top student
in her high school class and a star performer on the academic decathlon
team, her future seems assured - but as Laura soon learns, the best laid
plans are subject to the whims of fate.
Gary: A young, pin-striped Wall Street wheeler dealer. He is The Master of
the Universe, flagrantly breaking the rules on insider trading and on the
verge of being fired. Despite the expensive suits and $300,000 a year
salary, Gary is a cunning and rapacious jungle creature intent on his own
immediate gratification and survival.
Professor Terry Rapson: This frumpy English scientist attends the U.S.
Conference on Global Warming in Geneva, where he introduces himself to
Adrian, complimenting him on his spirited testimony. A specialist in deep
thermal currents who works out of the Hadley Institute in England, Rapson is
interested in discussing Adrian's work on abrupt climate shifts
Lucy: Adrian's ex-wife. A busy doctor at Georgetown hospital. A pediatric
specialist, Lucy has charge of their young son Sam when her husband is away
on his frequent Antarctica research expeditions. Both highly successful and
driven workaholics, Lucy and Adrian are both deeply concerned about their
son's welfare, but they are really too busy to communicate effectively with
one another about Sam's problems and needs.
J.D.: The captain of the rival decathlon team. Slick, good-looking and rich,
an effortlessly charming youth who sweeps Laura off her feet during the
event's finals in New York City. Privileged and spoiled, J.D. is convinced
of his own intellectual and social supremacy, and he views Sam, his rival
for Laura's affections, with barely concealed contempt.
Brian: Sam's academic decathlon teammate. 16 years old and desperate for
approval. A classic egghead with an endearingly geeky quality and a dry
sense of humor, he accompanies Laura and Sam on their big trip to New York
to compete in the nationals.
Tom Gomez: Adrian's boss at NOAA. A long-suffering bureaucrat who admires
Adrian's work, but wishes that Adrian wouldn't alienate the government wonks
responsible for their funding.
GREG DEAN SCHMITZ'S PREVIEW THOUGHTS:
7/18/02 - Quite possibly the most famous (or infamous) movies of director
Roland Emmerich's career thus far are his most successful, Independence Day,
and his least successful, Godzilla (relative to cost, hype and
expectations). What both films have in common is the theme of mankind facing
something greater and more powerful than itself, whether it be
extremely-large flying saucers, or an extremely-large reptile, as the
effects of said threat destroy New York City. Well, he's back at the "let's
destroy New York City" buffet line with this big-budget epic that throws
humanity a similar enemy, the very forces of nature (caused of course by the
man-made phenomenon of global warming). This time around, the Big Apple gets
frozen over as northern temperatures plummet to way-below-zero levels, and
an Ice Age begins. So, you can expect to see big "establishing shots" of the
water around the Statue of Liberty frozen solid (or maybe cracked with
icefloes, etc.), the Empire State Building coated with snow, etc. As in
Independence Day, other major cities will probably get their Doomsday
treatment as well (like maybe Los Angeles sinking into the sea, tornadoes
tearing apart Sydney, an earthquake splitting Mexico City, etc.). Following
the events of September 11th, I think people take the idea of New York (or
any city) being devastated more seriously, but the historic truth is that
films that promise the eye candy of a massive tidal wave (Deep Impact, The
Perfect Storm) or apocalyptic storms (Twister, The Mummy) rarely fail to
bring in wide, summer-movie audiences. Disaster is sad, but it's also the
very stuff that popcorn-munching audiences seek out.
20th Century Fox is doing its best to keep this ambitious project under a
$125 million ceiling, focusing first of all on the star salaries (though
Roland Emmerich is getting $10 million against 10% of the gross), so the
bulk of the budget can be spent on realizing all of the myriad disaster
sequences in the script. That means that instead of the rumored Mel Gibson,
they hired Dennis Quaid to take the lead role, no doubt supplementing him by
other established actors who are talented, but not going to seriously
deplete from the resources needed to, say, create a set that realistically
looks like an ice-covered Central Park (just guessing). The popular
sentiment is that Quaid is on an upswing after his baseball movie, The
Rookie, became one of the "leggiest" sleeper hits of the first half of 2002.
I think the truth, though, is that his films have been doing quite well
lately before that, with The Parent Trap, Any Given Sunday, Frequency and
Traffic all doing well, four wide-releases in a row (and Playing by Heart
could've done much better than it did; I think Miramax really dropped the
ball on positioning it in the marketplace, nearly burying it).
MAJOR MOVIE ABOUT GLOBAL-WARMING GOES INTO PRODUCTION (5/6/2002):
CAN GLOBAL WARMING CAUSE AN 'ICE AGE'? (10/3/2002):
WHITLEY STRIEBER'S "UNKNOWN COUNTRY" WEBSITE:
LILITH'S DREAM (A Website Promoting Strieber's New Book):
ART BELL'S WEBSITE:
"THE COMING GLOBAL SUPERSTORM"
By Art Bell & Whitley Strieber
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