2012 Film Wiki

Your job is to figure out when this is all gonna fall apart. My job is figure out how to keep some semblance of government after it falls apart.
~ Carl Anheuser to Adrian Helmsley

Jesus! Did you all think we were going to all get abord, join hands and sing kumbaya? Sit down and buckle up!
~ Carl Anheuser after being confronted by Adrian on Air Force One

Are you kidding me?! Of course something went wrong! You know, congratulations to the both of you, you might've gotten us all killed but as long as your conscience is clean, right Helmsley?
~ Carl Anheuser blaming both Adrian and Laura for opening the Ark gates

For what it's worth... I want to apologize for the things I've said... to both of you
~ Carl Anheuser apologizing to Adrian and Laura

Carl Anheuser is the main antagonist of 2012. He is the former White House Chief of Staff to the late President Thomas Wilson and later the de facto President.

He tried to keep the 2012 Apocalypse a secret from the public in order to prevent massive civil unrest and believed that only the richest and most influential people are needed to survive the disaster. Carl is a survivor of the 2012 Apocalypse.


Lincoln Plaza Hotel Party[]

In 2009, Carl Anheuser was seen celebrating a party at the Lincoln Plaza Hotel in Washington D.C., where Adrian Helmsley arrived to inform him that a massive solar flare has caused the temperature of the Earth's core to increase rapidly and would cause a chain of natural disasters in the year 2012. After learning the news from Adrian, Anheuser takes Adrian to meet U.S. President Thomas Wilson.

2012 Apocalypse[]

Adrian and Anheuser were in the Oval Office to brief President Wilson that the apocalypse may be coming sooner than expected, and later ushered Adrian out when Laura Wilson barged in to talk to President Wilson about the death of Roland Picard. Anheuser later emphasized that Adrian needed to figure out everything, and to let him know as soon as possible.

The next evening, Anheuser spoke to his mother one last time before Adrian arrived to show news of earthquakes striking South America and chaos breaking in London. Adrian and Anheuser then started to argue about when to warn the public, but are interrupted by Professor West who told them the Yellowstone Caldera had erupted. Anheuser attempted to persuade President Wilson to board Air Force One, but was told to give him a moment with Adrian.

After Adrian talked to President Wilson and boarded Air Force One, he informed Anheuser that the President was not coming and Anheuser revealed that the Vice President was dead and the Speaker of the White House missing. Seeing no other option, Anheuser takes command, and after taking off, they watched President Wilson address the nation. Throughout that evening, Anheuser and the rest of the crew witness and record more disasters around the world.

After they landed in Cho Ming, they began to board the Ark 4, while also witnessing where the roof collapsed on Ark 3. After learning about another wave coming from the east, Anheuser immediately wanted to leave as they only had a short amount of time before they were washed up by the wave. This led to a massive riot by Ark passengers not wanting to get left behind, and many would fall off the edge of the platform. Adrian witnesses it and gives a speech to the other Arks to let them it, much to Anheuser's annoyance due to the limited amount of time they had.

Right after bringing all of the survivors on board the Ark, the gate's hydraulics were jammed, and they see Jackson Curtis's group clambering in. They see that Tenzin is injured and Anheuser berates them. Anheuser along with others in the control try to keep their balance and watch as Jackson tried to unjam the gears, and looks on with a relieved look once the Ark's engine starts and backs away from colliding with Mt. Everest.


Anheuser is not seen until the Arks begin to set sail for the Cape of Good Hope. In a deleted scene to the alternative ending of the film, a remorseful Anheuser comes up to the bridge and apologizes to Adrian and Laura for his actions.


Carl Anheuser is shown to be a strict, arrogant, and no-nonsense individual who takes his job as the Chief of Staff at the White House seriously. Ever since he learned about the world's ending in 2009 from geologist Dr. Adrian Helmsley, he became stunned and planned to keep the 2012 disaster a secret from the public globally, knowing that if world governments told the public about the end of the world, massive civil unrest will occur endlessly. He was shown to be corrupt as he believed that only the government should save only the richest amount of mankind around Earth, while the rest perished in the disaster, making it a genocidal act. He seems to lack empathy as he refused to reveal the truth globally, ordered the deaths of any individuals who tried to warn the world of the apocalypse, and refused to let any of his family members be brought with him, including his ex-wife who didn't want to see him again.

His corrupt activities are what made some of his colleagues turn against him, those being Helmsley, Scotty, Professor Frederick West and Laura Wilson, who wanted to bring the remaining 2012 survivors on board so they could survive and ensure that the billions of people who perished in the apocalypse didn't die in vain, despite him ordering one of the Ark members to turn the communications off. His corrupt actions may have also been motivated by fear, whether from dying or failing to ensure the continuity of the human race, as shown when he wanted to prepare for the upcoming tsunami that was going to hit the Arks in an attempt to save some fraction of humanity, despite leaving the 2012 survivors to die, but it was just enough time to bring the remaining humans on board. After learning about the Curtis family's stowaway, he sarcastically congratulated Adrian and Laura for opening the gates (which led Adrian to strike him out of anger in a deleted scene).

After the apocalypse, in an alternative ending deleted scene, Anheuser was shown to be remorseful of his mistakes and deeds, which made him come up to the bridge to apologize to Adrian, Laura, and his colleagues for his actions.


  • Carl Anheuser was portrayed by Oliver Platt.
    • Although Anheuser is American, Oliver is Canadian, adopting an American accent for the role
  • Anheuser, who's position is the Chief of Staff, is NOT in line to succeed the President (as it has no senate approval) but since he knows who's on board and appoints himself acting President, we can assume that all other positions in the Line of Succession did not board Air Force One.
    • It is revealed that the Vice President is dead and the Speaker of the House has gone missing, which meant that the presidential line of succession is broken.
    • When a person acts as the leader of a nation when they're not, it is called "Alexander Haig Syndrome".
  • The scene where Adrian punches him was cut out of the final cut because the filmmakers felt that Adrian was largely breaking the protocol, and would likely get arrested.