In the action packed disaster thriller Greenland, a family fights for survival in the face of an extinction level event. A comet hurtling toward Earth was supposed to provide nothing more than the fireworks display of a lifetime. But the comet is soon revealed to be a planet killer that threatens billions across the globe. John Garrity (Gerard Butler), his estranged wife Allison (Morena Baccarin), and young son Nathan are among the very few to be selected for air transport to a top-secret safe haven, only to see their good fortune go horribly wrong when they’re separated minutes before takeoff.
John desperately searches for Allison and Nathan as Allison begins her own journey to rescue Nathan, who’s been kidnapped and is in need of medical attention. Amid terrifying news accounts of cities around the world being leveled by the comet’s fragments, the Garritys experience the best and worst inhumanity as they battle the increasing panic and lawlessness surrounding them.
Will they ever be reunited as the global apocalypse counts down to zero? Will their trek culminate in a final chance for hope?
The Koalition spoke to Gerard Butler about his role as father searching for his family, what Greenland means to him and more.
Even as an entire planet faces an inconceivable threat, Gerard Butler’s John Garrity is resolute in keeping his wife and young son safe. The film’s mix of intimate familial drama and catastrophic spectacle is as unexpected as it is captivating. The odyssey of the Garrity family resonates and makes the chaos enveloping them be all the more plausible.
“This film is told from the inside out,” says Butler. “You’re involved with this family. There are intimate character portraits. The themes are family, renewal, humanity – what life is really about. I found that deep and powerful. The script was incredibly emotional.”
“It’s not about your typical hero punching the comet in the face!” he adds. “Everyone’s a hero. I enjoyed the subtleties in it. It’s not just about the spectacle, but the truth and the messiness of family life. It’s the NOT knowing. The film presents so many moral challenges, as well as all the bells and whistles [of spectacle]. This movie will take audiences by surprise, take them on a journey, inspire them – and scare the beejeezus out of them! Greenland is a ride.”
“There is an element of redemption in John Garrity’s story, he feels the guilt of past actions. His redemption comes from a place of how he shows his good actions in a time of crisis. His wife Allison sees what her husband has done and what he’s gone through. It’s not really just about his survival. It’s about his family’s survival. It’s messy and real – just pure passion, emotion, and terror. But it’s part of the sacrifice that brings his redemption.”
In Greenland, Garrity’s profession as a structural engineer makes he and his family among the privileged to receive instructions to travel to a nearby military base, where they will board a giant cargo plane and be transported to a top secret location – one that’s presumably safe from the comet’s massive destruction. But it’s Garrity’s devotion to family that comes to define him. “John has certain skills, but nothing spectacular like Mike Banning’s [in the …Has Fallen films],” Butler explains. “He’s an engineer and the government is looking to rebuild a world, but no one knows how many people are going to make it through the comet strike – there is no escaping it.”
“The comet is the great equalizer. It doesn’t matter who you are. Everyone is facing the same challenge. There is a fragility to humankind, and there are all the different reactions to the comet – whether it’s elitism, rioting, or protesting. You’re defined by the challenge in front of you. Who’s the hero? Who’s the coward? Who doesn’t believe? Who fights for their family? John could be any man; he’s just a father who would do anything to protect his wife and his kid.”
To learn more about Greenland and Gerard’s quest as Garrity check out our full interview below.