If there’s a more undervalued actor working today than John Cusack, his first name is probably Dolph. But since I’ve no interest in starting that argument again, let’s just agree to disagree and acknowledge that Cusack could have Edward Norton’s career if he wanted it.
Cusack’s scored some decent box office coin over the last couple of years (1408 shook up the world with its surprising $71 million domestic take), so perhaps he’ll finally be able to balance the integrity-laden likes of War, Inc. with seven-figure paydays on the order of Roland Emmerich’s end-of-the-world opus 2012. True, Emmerich’s last two films have been unspeakably dreadful, but it at least sounds like Cusack may get to pal around with the ridiculously awesome Chiwetel Ejiofor for a few months; there are worse ways to swallow your professional pride in the name of staying commercially relevant.
In Emmerich’s third “we’re all gonna die” ode to the lifework of Irwin Allen, Cusack will star as “an academic researcher who opens a portal into a parallel universe and makes contact with his double in order to prevent an apocalypse predicted by the ancient Mayans.” When he finds out his double is Girls Gone Wild creator Joe Francis, he closes the portal and reads aloud excerpts from Eichmann in Jerusalem for the rest of the movie.
Emmerich wrote the script for 2012 with Harald Kloser, an awful film music composer who has successfully segued into awful screenwriting. The picture will begin shooting this July provided the actors don’t fuck everything up by going on strike.