With a filmography chockfull of cataclysmic event flicks (2012, The Day After Tomorrow, Godzilla, Independence Day), Roland Emmerich has never been known for subtlety. While the historical drama Anonymous, about whether it was actually William Shakespeare who wrote all of Shakespeare’s plays, may seem like a gentle new direction for the German filmmaker, it treats authorship with a degree of explosiveness that would make Michael Bay blush. We spoke with Emmerich about why he thinks Shakespeare was a fraud, preferring epic movies to small stories, and his plans for the end of the world.
Now that 2012 is around the corner, do you anticipate what the Mayans predicted? Are we close to the brink of civilization?
I will say that 2012 was a movie. It was a film. Mainly, it was a modern retelling of Noah’s Ark, because Noah also knew a flood will come, and we just used the year 2012 as a tie-in, in a way, so people say, “Oh my God, this happens in like three, four years.” It made it very real and visceral. I don’t believe in it. But I’m playing it safe and going skiing on the 21st of December, so I can be on a mountain, so in case the wave is coming, I can stay alive. And at least I’m doing something I really love at the end of my life.