'2012' Loses Worldwide Destruction to Avoid Religious Wars
By PopEater Staff Posted Nov 6th 2009 11:55AM
Roland Emmerich has demolished nearly every beloved monument in the world in his disaster movie career - from Big Ben in 'Independence Day' to the Statue of Liberty in 'The Day After Tomorrow' - but you won't see the German filmmaker take down Islam's holiest site in his new end-of-days flick '2012.' Emmerich had planned to show the destruction of the Kaaba, the structure in Mecca toward which Muslims turn for daily prayer, but changed his mind when his co-writer suggested the scene might spark more trouble than they'd bargained for.
"My co-writer Harald [Kloser] said I will not have a fatwa on my head because of a movie. And he was right," Emmerich told SciFiWire. "It's just something which I kind of didn't [think] was [an] important element, anyway, in the film, so I kind of left it out."
The director added, "We have to all ... in the Western world ... think about this. You can actually ... let ... Christian symbols fall apart, but if you would do this with [an] Arab symbol, you would have ... a fatwa, and that sounds a little bit like what the state of this world is."
Fans of disaster movies shouldn't fear that Emmerich is losing his edge. The director, who did include a destruction shot of the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, pushed plenty of other buttons. "Because I'm against organized religion," Emmerich explained.
"The whole Vatican kind of tips and kind of rolls over the people. It said something, because in the story, some people ... believe in praying and prayer, and they pray in front of the church, and it's probably the wrong thing, what they would do in that situation."
"I always try to come up with what makes sense for the story, you know?" Emmerich said. "And it's not only about the destruction. It has to kind of stand for something.
'2012' Set and Stars
John Cusack, left, and Woody Harrelson star in Columbia Pictures' "2012." The action film will be released November 13, 2009. (Joe Lederer/Columbia TriStar Marketing Group/MCT)
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