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blowing shit up

Disaster-Porn Fetishist Roland Emmerich Fears Fatwa, Stops Short of Destroying Islamic Holy Sites in 2012

Director Roland Emmerich has made a career out of laying spectacular waste to some of the world's most iconic locales. In Independence Day, aliens imploded the White House by way of a fierce laser beam. In Godzilla, Madison Square Garden was trampled by impossibly large lizards before being blown to smithereens. And in The Day After Tomorrow, a giant twister ripped directly through the Capitol Records building in Los Angeles. Now, in 2012, Emmerich has decided that instead of just destroying symbols of government or capitalism run amok, it would help stoke the fires of controversy if he trained his army of CGI technicians on toppling some of the world's larger religious symbols. In the trailer for the film alone, we see a wave that's taller than the Himalayas sweep a Buddhist monastery off into the surf and Rio's Christ the Redeemer statue crumble into a thousand little pieces. However, there is one religious target that Emmerich was too chicken to destroy.

The Guardian points us to an interview in which Emmerich confesses that he had initially wanted to show the destruction of the Kaaba, the "iconic cube-shaped structure in the Grand Mosque in Mecca that Muslims the world over turn towards every day when they pray and which they circle seven times during the hajj pilgrimage." However, before committing this scene to film, Emmerich apparently had second thoughts — thoughts that had him fearing for his life.


"I wanted to do that, I have to admit," Emmerich said. "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. So 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."

We can't say that we blame him, necessarily, for deciding that pretending to blow up an Islamic high holy site wasn't worth his life. However, we do fear that Emmerich may have drastically underestimated the loyalty and passion of the clientele of Randy's Donuts in Los Angeles. We're fairly certain the patrons of the famed doughnut shop are not going to react well when they learn that tectonic-plate shifts will ultimately destroy their place of worship, a place where they go each and every morning to receive communion in the form of coffee and crullers. Watch your back, Roland!

Emmerich reveals fear of fatwa axed 2012 scene [Guardian UK]

Photo: Courtesy of Sony