10 Curiosities of 'The Day After Tomorrow', the 'catastrophe' movie that became a joke in the scientific world

When it comes to “Disaster Movie”, no one stands out more, positively and negatively, than Roland Emmerich. If Hollywood wants to destroy the planet, or a famous franchise like Godzilla, it’s Roland they call. But even though he has accumulated more failures than successes, the director has managed to raise more than US$ 3 billion worldwide with his films. And one of his most famous features is The day after tomorrow, whose story revolves around the catastrophic effects of global warming. And as this apocalyptic adventure had a lot of repercussion, CinePOP separated 10 curiosities about him. Check out!


Once ready, the script went up for auction to all major Hollywood studios on one condition: 24 hours to respond. The only studio that was interested in the project, which asked for a big budget, was 20th Century Fox.

Almost got mocked ‘live’

The concepts of “secrecy in the studios” are not very well defined, given the constant leaks that deliver information about films not yet released. However, this almost caused a serious problem for the creative team of The day after tomorrow. This is because the script of the film fell into the hands of Trey Parker and Matt Stonethe creators of South Park, when the film was still in pre-production. And what was the duo’s first thought? Shooting the movie in secret, but with puppets instead of actors. And to make it even more fun, they planned to release their version on the same day as the live action movie. Fortunately or unfortunately, the duo’s lawyer said it was impossible for them to do this and get away with it, so they dropped the idea. But they didn’t miss the opportunity to mock the film, releasing a parody episode of South Park the following year.

Enjoy watching:


The idea to write the film came while Roland Emmerich was filming. The Patriot (2000). However, he decided to put the project on hold after seeing the 9/11 attacks. At the time, he thought it wouldn’t be the best time to have a disaster movie in New York, as the city was experiencing its catastrophe trauma in real life. But time passed and he returned to the script. And yet, when the project was approved, the production didn’t think it would be polite to bring another tragedy to New York anytime soon. However, the test sessions held in New York registered very positive reactions from the public in the scenes in which the city is taken by the waters.

I want to be big

One of the biggest differences from the original script to the final version was that Roland Emmerich wrote the film with its protagonists being children around 10/11 years old. Only he watched the movie the sky of october (1999) and was delighted with the work of Jake Gyllenhaal. So he asked the casting people if it would be believable to have Jake play a 17 year old boy. With positive feedback, he rewrote the situations so that his protagonists were teenagers.

vetoed by NASA

Before the film’s production began, the defunct FOX tried to hire NASA scientists to serve as consultants on the film, just to make sure the story would be a science fiction correct. But the script reached the director, who read the plot and found it completely absurd. The fear of being associated with possible negative repercussions was so great that the board issued a memorandum forbidding its employees to act or comment on anything about the film. Some time later, that orientation fell away.

Joke in the scientific world

Despite NASA’s initial reaction, Fox didn’t give up and tried to get more scientific opinions to support its film. So, they brought together some professionals from different fields of science and took them to an exclusive preview. The result, however, was more like NASA’s opinion. The vast majority laughed and said that despite being a big joke without an ounce of science involved, it was good fun to pass the time. This eventually landed the film in Yahoo!’s Top 10 Scientifically Incorrect Films.

Ecologically correct

Despite being mocked in the scientific world to this day, Roland Emmerich invested $200,000 out of his own pocket to reduce the film’s carbon emissions. It was the first time that this ecological impact of film production became a topic behind the scenes in Hollywood. As a way of offsetting the carbon emitted, trees were planted and investments were made in the use of renewable energies.

social criticism

The production came under heavy political criticism for having cast the actor. Kenneth Welsh to play the Vice President of the USA. That’s because Kenneth was a lot like the real-life US Vice President, Dick Cheney. But the lineup was kept because, according to Roland Emmerich, that was the intention, since George W. Bush and Cheney did not take the climate issue seriously and took a stand against the Kyoto Protocol. The criticism of the Bush administration is so explicit that even the speech given by the VP in the film is mocked. He speaks to the people through the weather channel.

impressive effects

The film’s main draw was its impressive special effects. The use of CGI was revolutionary and became an example for great features that came later. For this to work, more than a thousand different digital artists were hired and nine production companies specialized in the development of special effects worked on the film over the course of a year.

Box office

The film grossed over $550 million worldwide, making it the sixth-highest grossing film of 2004. But one surprising point is that DVD and Blu-ray sales brought in an impressive return of $110 million, a whopping $110 million. Who was happy with all that money was the director, Roland Emmerich, who agreed on a salary of $ 10 million for the film, and a share of 10% of the total revenue of the film. In other words, he left with about 60/70 million dollars in his pockets.

The day after tomorrow is available on Star+.

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