Director Emmerich brings 'White House Down' with terrorism plot

Tue Jun 25, 2013 9:18am EDT
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By Sandra Maler

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Film director Roland Emmerich has made obliterating the White House a trademark in his apocalyptic blockbusters and true to form, he ravages it in spectacular fashion with a terrorist attack in "White House Down," opening in theaters on Friday.

"White House Down," starring Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx and Maggie Gyllenhaal, is Emmerich's first foray into terrorism.

"It's about the division in America, it's about lobbyism and about how some people feel entitled to do certain things and totally believe in them patriotically," Emmerich told Reuters.

Emmerich, 57, has actually made his career destroying the White House.

In his 1996 film, "Independence Day," the building was annihilated by an alien laser beam, then buried in snow in 2004's "The Day After Tomorrow," and swept away by an aircraft carrier riding a tidal wave in last year's "2012."

"Whenever something big happens in America, the White House is involved. Because of that there is a lot of White House in my movies because I always try to do a relatively international plot. I'm not the only one. The White House gets attacked a lot! But I probably hold the record," the director said.

In "White House Down," Emmerich dedicated the best part of two hours to destroying the presidential building as an aspiring Secret Service agent, played by Tatum, finds himself protecting the president, played by Foxx, during a terrorist attack.

Emmerich teamed up with screenwriter James Vanderbilt, who wrote 2012's box-office reboot "The Amazing Spider-Man," to develop a script exploring the threat of terrorism.   Continued...

Director Roland Emmerich walks the red carpet as he arrives for the premiere of his new film "White House Down" in Washington June 21, 2013. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst