Media Blog

I Don’t Want a Fatwa on my Head

Director Roland Emmerich describes how he decided what to destory in his latest film 2012:

Occasionally realism looked a little too boring. Data models, for example, told artists that their mile-high tsunami would take several minutes to roll over the Himalayas. The artists needed it to happen in 10 seconds.

Not lost on Mr. Emmerich was the potential outrage from showing realistic disasters hitting California, a state plagued by wildfires and earthquakes, or toppling city towers in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. Still, he pressed ahead with annihilation as usual: “If I cannot destroy a big high-rise anymore, because terrorists blew up two of the most famous ones, the twin towers, what does this say about our world?”

He razed Rio de Janeiro; Rome; California; Washington, D.C.; Tibet; Las Vegas; Yellowstone National Park; and more but decided against destroying Islamic symbols. “My co-writer, Harald” Kloser, “said, ‘I’m not writing this to get a fatwa on my head,’ ” Mr. Emmerich said. “We have Jesus falling apart in all kinds of forms. The Vatican falls on people’s heads, and we can do that because we’re a free, Western society, but if there would be, like, Mecca destroyed, there would be an outrage. And so you don’t do it. At the end of the thing it’s entertainment.”

Got that? Watching Californians die or the Vatican fall is “entertaining” and not an “outrage.”

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