The Day After Tomorrow

• Tagline: This year, a sweater won’t do.
• Director: Roland Emmerich
• Writer: Roland Emmerich
• Release Date: 24 May 2004 (USA)
• MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for intense situations of peril.
• Parents Guide: View content advisory for parents
• Genre: Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi | Thriller
• Runtime: 124 min
• Box Office #’s: Here

As Paleoclimatologist named Jack Hall was in Antartica, he discovers that a huge ice sheet has been sheared off. But what he did not know is that this event would trigger a massive climate shift that would effect the world population. Meanwhile, his son, Sam was with friends in New York to attend an event. There they discover that it has been raining non-stop for the past 3 weeks, and after a series of weather related disasters that occurred over the world. Everybody soon realizes that the world is going to enter a new ice age, as the rest of the world population tries to evacuate to the warm climates of the south. Jack makes a daring attempt to rescue his son and his friends who are stuck in New York, who have to survive not only a massive wave, but freezing cold temperatures that could possibly kill them.

From the Gallery

Also Starring

• Dennis Quaid … Jack Hall
• Emmy Rossum … Laura Chapman
• Sela Ward … Dr. Lucy Hall
• Austin Nichols … J.D.


  • While speaking to fans in Denver, director Roland Emmerich said he became interested in doing a movie involving weather while shooting The Patriot (2000). He said his whole day revolved around what the weather forecast was in order to shoot the outdoor scenes and that he really just wanted to control the weather himself. “The Coming Global Superstorm”, a non-fiction novel by Art Bell and Whitley Strieber, was used for reference. Emmerich concedes that while the events portrayed in the film are indeed possible, the time frame over which they take place was implausibly short and tailored for sheer entertainment value. In keeping with the movie’s ecological theme, Emmerich paid $200,000 from his own pocket to make the production “carbon-neutral” – the first of its kind in Hollywood – all carbon dioxide emitted by the production was offset by the planting of trees, and investments in renewable energy.
  • Roland Emmerich confided that the Statue of Liberty would be turned over by the force of the massive amount of water flowing around it but said he wanted to create a symbol of American values that stood up to the forces.
  • The footage of the plane that crashed in the Midwest before the FAA’s flight ban is actually a stock photo of a January 1990 Avianca Airlines crash on Long Island. The hurricane footage is of Hurricane Iniki (1992) in Hawaii. It was shot by Emmerich’s assistant Aaron Boyd, who renamed the storm “Hurricane Noelani” after his Hawaiian wife. The UK blizzard footage is from a January 2002 report.
  • The US Army loaned several UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters for the rescue scene at the end, prompting the Canadian authorities to reassure the people of Montreal that they weren’t being invaded by the USA.
  • The casting of Kenneth Welsh as the Vice President was controversial, due to his physical resemblance to then-US Vice-President Dick Cheney. However, Roland Emmerich insisted on it for that very reason, admitting that the characters of the President and Vice-President were intended to be criticism of the Bush/Cheney administration’s opposition to the Kyoto Protocol for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The building used as the United States Embassy in Mexico was actually the Centro Vida/Life Center Ministries and private school in El Paso, Texas. Mexico is visible from the building, which is on Glory Road near the University. The church and school later moved, vacating the building. The Mexico-United States “bridge” is really an overpass in El Paso which overlooks Mexico in a dramatic way. El Paso’s real bridges don’t look like that, and security is much stricter with fences and Border Patrol agents. When these scenes were being filmed, local residents were concerned about military-style helicopters landing and flying low over residential neighborhoods, and the streets closed by the filming. Some called the authorities out of fear.
  • On the bookshelf behind Jack’s bed are the novels “Sacred” and “Gone, Baby, Gone” by Dennis Lehane, who also wrote Mystic River (2003) which featured Emmy Rossum.
  • The consultation by NASA scientists was requested before the filming of the movie, but NASA stated that the events in the film were too ridiculous to actually occur, and hence denied the request. NASA sent a memo out to all of its employees stating that they were not allowed to comment on the likelihood of the events portrayed, but later rescinded this restriction.
  • The Manchester United player who is seen scoring is Dutch striker Ruud van Nistelrooy. It was a friendly game against Boca Juniors of Argentina which took place on 10 August 2002 and whose final score was Manchester United 2 Boca Juniors 0.
  • The Red Cross put up several stands at theaters in the U.S. featuring pamphlets with information on what to do to keep safe during tornados, floods, and blizzards for concerned people who had just viewed the film.
  • Sam goes to Woodmont Public School in Arlington. This is a real place name, but it’s an empty building used primarily for field space, voting, and community meetings.
  • Towards the end of the movie, when the President is giving his “thanking the third-world countries” speech, the channel he is giving the speech on is The Weather Channel.
  • The film was originally scripted with Sam and his friends as 11-year-olds, but director/screenwriter Roland Emmerich changed them to high school students for Jake Gyllenhaal, who Emmerich had seen in October Sky (1999). Emmerich asked “Can Jake Gyllenhaal play a 17-year-old?”
  • During the filming of the tsunami scene, Jake Gyllenhaal needed to use the restroom very badly, so he went in the water tank.
  • The opening weekend gross of this film, along with the second weekend gross of Shrek 2 (2004), represented the most money ever earned in a single weekend in movie history at that point. This has since been passed and is now the 5th highest grossing weekend ever.
  • In the scene of the British helicopters crashing, producer Mark Gordon plays the pilot being instantly frozen.
  • The opening shot of the ice shelf is completely CG and lasts just over 2 1/2 minutes.
  • The flat image of the Earth surface used during the presentation is available to the public and can be downloaded from
  • Two library-bound survivors ask whether they should burn the works of Friedrich Nietzsche, whose “The Antichrist” states in its preface: “Only the day after tomorrow belongs to me. Some are born posthumously.” Part of this line provided this movie’s title.
  • During the point where the people of New York are walking on the frozen ice, the police officer’s vest is half-covered, so it reads only “ice.”
  • The river crossing scene was actually filmed on the US-Mexico border, and the extras really were crossing the Rio Grande into Mexico.
  • “South Park” (1997) creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker managed to get their hands on a copy of this film’s script during its pre-production. The two planned to secretly shoot the same film with puppets instead of actors, word for word, and release it on the same day. The duo abandoned these plans after their lawyer convinced them that such a film would never get released.
  • Cameo: [Kirsten Dunst] When Sam calls his father to tell him the sewer has backed up into the school, Dunst can be seen standing behind Sam near his elbow, her sweater pulled up over her nose and mouth (although in very poor light)
  • In the tornado sequence, the janitor is listening to a football match in his headphones. The match he is listening to is Argentina Vs. Peru and the guy commenting the match is Miguel Araujo, a famous Argentinian commentator of football matches.
  • As of 2008, has the second highest gross for a movie that did not reach Number 1 at the US box office, behind My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002).
  • During the party after the first round, Sam’s “Hello My Name Is…” sticker bears the name “Yoda”.


Laura Chapman: I’ve got one. Your favorite vacation?
Sam Hall: Besides this one?

Laura Chapman: I’m fine… s’can’t sleep… My mind keeps going over all those worthless Decathlon facts.
Sam Hall: Mm.
Laura Chapman: ‘S pretty stupid, huh?
Sam Hall: No, it’s alright. I guess you just haven’t had time to adjust yet.
Laura Chapman: How’m I supposed to adjust, Sam? Everything I’ve ever cared about, everything I’ve worked for… has all been preparation for a future that no longer exists. I know you always thought I took the competition too seriously… you were right. It was all for nothing.
Sam Hall: No, no… No I just, I just said that to avoid admitting the truth.
Laura Chapman: The truth about what?
Sam Hall: …About w-why I joined the team… I joined it because of you.

Jack Hall: [on Sam failing calculus] I’m not angry. I’m disappointed.
Sam Hall: Do you wanna hear my side of it?
Jack Hall: Sam, how can there be two sides?
Sam Hall: Hey, look, I got every question right on the final and the only reason why Mr. Spengler failed me was because I didn’t write out the solutions.
Jack Hall: Why not?
Sam Hall: I do them in my head.
Jack Hall: Did you tell him that?
Sam Hall: I did. He didn’t believe me. He said if he couldn’t do them in his head then I must be cheating.
Jack Hall: Well, that’s ridiculous! How can he fail you for being smarter than he is?
Sam Hall: That’s what I said.
Jack Hall: [smirks] You did? How’d he take it?
Sam Hall: He flunked me, remember?

J.D.: [showing the other students the museum] I couldn’t let you guys leave New York without seeing the Natural History Museum.
Sam Hall: [under his breath] Of course not, it’s the world’s finest collection of stuffed animals.

J.D.: Sam, just tell her how you feel.
Sam Hall: Yeah.

Brian Parks: Man you’ve got some serious competition.
Sam Hall: Please.
Brian Parks: And I’ll bet he’s really rich too.
Sam Hall: Shut up.

Sam Hall: [to Brian] So much for one in a billion.

Laura Chapman: [on the plane, Sam is scarfing down peanuts] You alright?
Sam Hall: Hmm?
Brian Parks: He’s afraid of flying.
Sam Hall: I’m fine.
Brian Parks: [the plane rattles due to turbulance] You know, statistically, the chance of a plane going down because of turbulance is less than what, one in a billion? Or is it a million? I can’t remember if it’s…
Laura Chapman: Shut up, Brian.

Jack Hall: [on the phone] Are you sure you can’t get home any sooner than tomorrow?
Sam Hall: [on the phone] Well, look, Dad, I would if I could, you know. It’s just… This smell is unbearable Dad.
Jack Hall: [on the phone] Stop kidding around! I want you home.
Sam Hall: [on the phone] Dad, I’ll be on the train. Do me a favor, okay. Just don’t worry about me. I’ll figure it out.

Laura Chapman: She left her bag in the cab. Her passports. I’ll get it for her.
Sam Hall: Laura! Laura!
Brian Parks: Sam!
J.D.: No! Brian, no!
Sam Hall: Laura! Laura, look! Come on! Come! Come on!

Sam Hall: [to Brian] Let’s go! Pull, Brian! Take the medicine to Laura. Come on! We’re almost there. Come on. Brian, close the door!

Jeremy: I thought you said it was too dangerous to go outside
Sam Hall: I know I did.