Thursday, September 18, 2008
California dreamin' -- "2112" movie in the works
Climate activist Mike Roddy of Yucca Valley, California, sets sights on powerful global warming movie set in year 2112 A.D.
Webposted: October 12, 2112
Ask Mike Roddy what he's up to these days and he will tell you he's
working on a screenplay. But not an everyday kind of screenplay. No,
Roddy wants to make a movie about the impact of climate change and
global warming in the distant future, and he wants the Hollywood
production to serve as a wake up call for humankind -- to take action
on climate change problems now!
He plans to call the movie "2112". And he's very serious and determined.
Part of Roddy's inspiration comes from a friendship with Hollywood
screenwriter and UCLA writing professor Robert Roy Pool. Does that
name sound familiar? Pool wrote the original story for the movie that
became "Armageddon" in 1998. Roddy has discussed climate change issues
with Pool and knows how Hollywood works as well.
"Bob has been a great inspiration to me on this project," Roddy said.
When asked what got him started on the movie project, Roddy replied:
"I've been reading up on global warming for about ten years and
published an article last year about deforestation and climate change
in the USA. I've also spoken to some of the top scientists in the
field, like professors Schneider, Harmon and Harte. The biggest
problem everyone seems to feel, is
political will, which comes from public opinion."
"So I figured that since the media is
timid and corporate, the best way to reach the public is to make a
movie showing what the future may look like. The evidence shows that
the world of 100 years from now is likely to be devastated and
chaotic," he said.
"Plenty of scientists think that in 100 years, average global
temperatures could easily be 5 degrees centigrade higher than today.
The consequences are vast, including mass extinctions, reduced arable
land and fresh water, and unbearable climates in most of the world," He said.
When asked who has inspired him in his research and thinking about
climate change and global warming, Roddy said: "I have been inspired
by Mark Lynas' book "Six Degrees", the IPCC reports and
supporting studies by Bill McKibben, Harte, and images of what
future survivors cities might look like that I've seen from the Polar
Cities Project (www.polarcity.org)."
Roddy is also part of a global online community of climate bloggers.
"It has been fun and very educational to blog on Dot
Earth, a very important blog run by science reporter Andrew Revkin at
the New York Times," he said.
Roddy said he wants to place his movie sets inside underground Arctic
cities, based on research he has done on the Internet, and he says
these cities, located underground, "are very plausible in 100
years, since infantry even today can destroy most buildings."
About the movie script that he is working on day and night, Roddy had plenty to
say: "The working title is '2112', the year the movie takes place.
are Houston, where the remnants of the fossil fuel people live, and
the Tatshenshini River valley in Alaska, where most of the action
takes place. The theme? The theme is survival in desperate circumstances."
"James Lovelock in the UK says this time in human history will be
called 'the cull, since vicious fighting
resources is highly probable, and this fighting is central in the
movie," Roddy said.
Roddy also explained what some of the locations will look like: "There
will be a so-called polar city in the Tatshenshini Valley that is
attacked twice, first by
a group of refugees from Peru, and then again later at the movie's climax by an
organized and well armed force of mercenaries from Houston."
defenders operate from underground, moving rapidly and using surprise
and ingenuity," he added.
"Subplots include intermarriage with the new invaders,
children in the settlement developing close and intuitive
relationships with nature (similar to those of the original natives),
descendants of the oil companies financing the second invasion- and a
snapshot of their prior and current lives in Houston -- and indoor
scenes showing how people have adjusted to a world of scarcity," Roddy added.
This is not Roddy's first attempt at a Hollywood screenplay. "This is
my second effort to write a movie script, although I am an
experienced author of nonfiction. The first script was a true story,
about the Nuxalk Indians of the Bella Coola Valley of British Columbia
defending their land against loggers. Bob Pool, who wrote the
story for the movie 'Armageddon' in 1998, helped me on that one.
We were not able to sell it, but I was happy with the result."
When asked how he intends to find a producer to greenlight his movie
script, Roddy noted: "My
current script is well under way, but it will take a few months to
polish it. I know a few people in Hollywood, and I will work with an
agent and through my own contacts to try to sell it. We will probably
need to find private money, from a wealthy and concerned individual.
The movie's impact would far exceed that of 'An Inconvenient Truth',
which only grossed US$30 million domestically. A hit action movie these
days can gross US$200-300 million, not counting video and overseas. A
lot more people will pay to see an action movie than a documentary,
and it affects them more viscerally."
"This is what we need to effect
change. Even 'The China Syndrome', which was a modest hit, had a lot do
with closing down the nuclear power industry."
As for who will star in the movie, Roddy said he had a few ideas: "I'd
like to see Viggo Mortenson play Nigel, the lead character,
because he can play a military leader who is a little haunted and
unconventional. Penelope Cruz would be good as the Peruvian love
interest. Ned Beatty could play the oil company executive in the
drunken golf cart scene. I would like to see the director chosen among
Peter Jackson, Ridley Scott, and Oliver Stone."
Money? As always, there is the issue of money. Lots of money.
"We will need around US$120 million for production, to attract talent and pay
for the production values we will need for a polar cities war movie.
Another $100 million is needed for sales and marketing, but that could
come from joint venturing with a studio at that point," Roddy said.
In terms of a time frame, Roddy said he hopes to get the movie made as
soon as possible, adding:
"I'd like to see
a 2012 release date. So the movie will be set 100 years in the future.
We need to get to work on changing the way we use
energy and work the land, and quickly."
Mike Roddy has big dreams and high hopes for his movie project about
climate change and global warming, to use it as a wake up call for
humanity. Meanwhile, his daily life in Yucca Valley, California keeps
"I traveled all over the place as a kid, including a year in Japan,
because my father was a colonel in the U.S. Army," Roddy recalled. "I
graduated from UC Berkeley, majoring in social science, but took a lot
of hard science courses, too."
"Now I am self-employed as a housing developer, and have built housing on four
continents," he said. "I also consult for American corporations and write
Roddy also commented: "For 15 years, I have been a relentless enemy of the
timber industry, and feel the same about the oil and coal companies as
well. I'm a fighter, for important causes. Climate change is a very
very important problem we need to tackle. That's why I am devoting my
time now to bringing this Hollywood screenplay to the silver screen."
It is Roddy's son who inspires him in many ways, he says.
"My son Malcolm is 12, and concern for his future is my main
motivation," he said. "If this movie succeeds, it could be the single most
important step toward his having a decent future. With all the talk
about global warming, governments aren't really doing much because the
people don't register it closely enough. This could help."
Is Roddy optimistic or pessimistic about the future of our planet
Earth? He explains his feelings this way: "I'm not optimistic about
massive and short term switches to
alternative power, for the reasons we've talked about on the New York
Times' Dot Earth blog:
too many entrenched financial interests, inertia, greed, and
reluctance to act decisively to improve things in the distant future.
We can solve this problem if we act quickly and aggressively in the
next 10 years, but I see no evidence that this will occur."
Regarding the use of the idea of polar cities in his movie script,
Roddy said that "polar cities are central to the movie, because that's
where most of the action
He added: "The town is underground, strictly for military defense. The
world of 2112 will be full of desperate climate refugees and invaders.
Earlier sci fi movies that took place underground were 'Outlander',
'Twelve Monkeys', and 'A Boy and his Dog'. These were eerie,
movies. Others that had key underground locations were 'Resident Evil',
'Wargames', 'Stargate', and the 'Mummy' movies. Underground settings are
actually very cinematic."
Here's hoping Mike Roddy finds an angel to greenlight his very
important climate change movie project. God knows, there must be an
angel out there, somewhere. Sir Richard Branson? A young
philanthropist who feels strongly about fighting climate change?
"I'm hoping we can get this movie made," Roddy said. "This one is not
about money or fame, it's about the Earth, our home planet. I am doing
this for my son."