2012 Film Wiki
Jackson Curtis
John Cusack in 2012 Wallpaper 1 1280.jpg
Gender Male
Age 33
Race Caucasian
Species Human
Home Los Angeles, California, USA (formerly)
Portrayed by John Cusack
Status Alive
First appearance 2012 (film)

Jackson Curtis is the main protagonist of 2012. He is a science fiction writer who lived in Los Angeles, California, working as a part-time limousine driver for Russian billionaire Yuri Karpov. He has two kids, Noah Curtis and Lilly Curtis, who lived with his ex-wife Kate Curtis, and her boyfriend, plastic surgeon and amateur pilot Gordon Silberman. Jackson is a survivor of the 2012 Apocalypse.


Early Life and Career

Jackson Curtis is a science fiction writer who published his first book: Farewell Atlantis with moderate success and he also works as a chauffeur for the Russian billionaire businessman and former boxer Yuri Karpov. In 1999, he married Kate Curtis and went to Yellowstone Lake at Yellowstone National Park during their marriage. He then birthed two children with her: Noah and Lily. However, he and Kate divorced sometime later and Kate became romatically interested in plastic surgeon and amateur pilot Gordon Silberman. As time passed, his son Noah became estranged with him and came to bond with Gordon more.


In 2012, Jackson Curtis is awakening for a normal day in Los Angeles, California. He was first oblivious that the apocalypse was coming, only hearing news of it on the TV.

After Jackson is woken up by a mini quake, he sees the time on his watch and realizes that he is late to take his children out camping to Yellowstone National Park. He then hurriedly gets up and goes to the bathroom to brush his teeth. His phone rings which annoys him as he dips water in his hair to clean it, he then picks his phone up and answers it. It is his former wife Kate who is annoyed about where he is and while talking to her, he trips over some copies of his book Farewell Atlantis before heading out of his house.

He then tries to take his car, but is angry and annoyed that it is broken down and has to take his limo instead. As he drives, he sees a (possibly religious) strawman sitting on the street corner and holding up a cardboard sign that reads "REPENT THE END IS NEAR". This sets him to thinking until he arrives outside his former wife's house. He then honks his limo horn to make his family know that he is here, his 7-year-old daughter Lilly and 13-year-old son Noah heard it and went outside. While Lilly was delighted to see him, Noah was cold towards him after he abandoned him and Lilly, usually calling him “Jackson” instead of “Dad” which annoys Jackson and tells him to call him “Dad”, but Noah ignores.

Kate then comes out and hands Jackson the camping tent and supplies, while talking Gordon comes out of the garage talking to a friend on his earpiece. Before he leaves for work, Gordon greets Jackson and tells him that he has a nice limo, he then says goodbye to Noah, Lilly, and Kate before going into his Porsche. Lilly then reminds Kate to tell Jackson about the thing that Lilly has to wear Pull-Ups every night to stop her from wetting her bed. Kate then tells Jackson not to spend too much time on his laptop, Jackson agrees. 

Camping in Yellowstone National Park

A few days later, Jackson and Lilly are singing a song in the limo, while Noah sits quietly in the back playing on his PSP. They lose connection with the radio as they instead hear a radio host talking that government people are flying all morning, which makes Jackson, Noah, and Lilly very confused.

While they are hiking through Yellowstone, Jackson tells Lilly and Noah that he is taking them to a place where he and Kate used to hang out a lot. Noah then coldly tells Jackson that he doesn’t want to hear where he and Kate had sex and calls him “Jackson” which makes Jackson even more annoyed. Lilly then spots a fence, they then ignore it and continue by climbing over it, despite Noah telling them about the signs.

They come across an area that was once a lake that he and Kate would visit before they were married. Suddenly, the U.S. military arrives and informs them of being in a restricted area. As a result, the military brings Jackson and his kids to a government research facility, where he witnessed the personnel stationed there monitoring the seismic and geological activity going around Yellowstone.

Dr. Adrian Helmsley informs them that the area that was once the lake is now unstable and they should stay away from any restricted areas. Jackson finds out that Adrian is also one of the many people who has read the science fiction novel Jackson published.

On their way back to the campground, the family runs into a suspicious Yellowstone hermit named Charlie Frost, who is truly a conspiracy theorist and scientist running a radio show from his trailer. Later that night, Jackson looks on his laptop and notices that many parts of Yellowstone restricted, Noah is then bitten by a mosquito and asks Jackson if he sprayed the tent. Jackson tells him that he is going to get bug spray the next day, Lilly tells Jackson that he wouldn’t work on his book. Jackson truthfully said that he is not, he then moves his laptop aside and helps Lilly get ready for bed. He sees Noah’s phone and asked him of who gave it to him, Noah replied that Gordon gave it to him for his birthday, Jackson then tried to talk with him, but Noah closes the tent door.

Jackson visits Charlie's trailer later that night and Charlie tells Jackson all about the apocalypse and how it is soon coming and how the government has been hiding it from the general public, going as far as to kill those who tried to warn the public and covering their deaths up as accidents. Charlie also informs him that they are building ships to rescue people who can afford a ticket. Charlie then shows Jackson an animated video made by himself talking about the apocalypse. Jackson felt that Charlie was acting crazy and he leaves.

The next day, Jackson, Noah, and Lilly went to get medication for mosquito bites. While doing that, they hear that a supermarket in LA had been hit by an earthquake and no casualties reported. Noah then gets a call from Kate (who she and Gordon had survived the earthquake in the store), who wants them to come home.

2012 Apocalypse

On the day the apocalypse begins, Jackson, Noah, and Lilly return home to Los Angeles as Kate was glad that they were okay, Jackson felt left out after he saw Noah hugging Gordon but he was not jealous. Jackson goes back to work and delivers Yuri’s Russian twin sons, Alec and Oleg, to the airport. The twins are rude to him, saying he will die and they will live because they have tickets to a big ship. This immediately sparks his attention and he eventually realizes that the apocalypse is beginning. Jackson then rents a Cessna 340A and rushes back to Kate's house, telling everyone to pack everything because the government was lying about the worst being over, and there is more to come. Kate and the family think Jackson is talking crazy and she hangs up the phone on him.

Just as this happens, a 10.9 earthquake shakes the entire city and the house begins falling apart. Jackson arrives with the limousine and the family escape from the crumbling city of Los Angeles on the plane piloted by Gordon as the other pilot Jackson hired was killed. The five then watch in horror as Los Angeles slides into the Pacific Ocean. 

Jackson and the family return to Yellowstone to get a map to the ships from Charlie Frost. Jackson and Lilly take off in his trailer and find Charlie at the top of a mountain. He tells Jackson where the map is in his trailer and is killed by the Yellowstone Caldera's volcanic explosion. Jackson and Lilly return to the runway where the rest of the family is waiting. He searches for the map and is nearly killed by the crumbling of the earth at the location of the trailer. This supposed death devastates Noah and Lilly. Gordon is ready to fly the plane out of Yellowstone, but Noah demands, "He's my dad!! We're gonna wait!!" But Gordon starts the plane anyway. As Kate is pulling the ladder up, she suddenly sees a hand coming out of the fissure. Jackson miraculously climbed out. Kate quickly tells Gordon to slow down the plane, as Jackson stands up and runs toward the plane away from the ash cloud. eventually climbs out and escapes with everyone on the plane.

When looking at the map, he discovers the ships are in China and concludes that they need a larger plane to get there. They end up in a destroyed Las Vegas, where they run into the Russian twins Jackson drove to the airport, their father Yuri, his girlfriend Tamara, and their dog Caesar.

Yuri's pilot, Sasha, manages to find the needed plane, an Antonov An-500 and agrees to fly them to China, but he needs another pilot, and Jackson pushes Gordon into co-piloting the plane with Sasha. Jackson, Yuri, and their families nearly escape a toxic cloud of ash headed for Las Vegas, but lose a part of their landing gear.

While relaxing on the plane, Jackson and Yuri have a discussion while Noah talks with Alec and Oleg. Sasha announces their intention to refuel in Hawaii but Gordon is horrified of fire and smoke coming from the clouds. The latter then calls Jackson and Yuri to the cockpit to take a look. With the women and children remaining in the main cabin, the men watch in horror as the islands of Hawaii are engulfed in lava as the Hawaiian Hotspot had erupted. Sasha then tells them that they are low on fuel and that they are going to have to make a landing in the South China Sea.

Many hours later, Jackson is sitting in a car trying to hear news on the radio but cannot get any signal as gigantic tsunamis have flooded the continents. Kate then comes into the car and reminds Jackson of the time they camped in Yellowstone and had a talk about how they changed since they separated. 

What the group does not realize is that the plates have shifted thousands of miles, and Asia is now where the Pacific Ocean was. They crash land on a Himalayan glacier, and everyone escapes by a Bentley Continental Flying Spur, but the crash kills Sasha, which devastates Tamara. He was her secret lover.

A Chinese government rescue plane carrying animals spots the group in the snow, but they only rescue Yuri Karpov, his twins, and their dog, because they have tickets to get on the ships, abandoning Jackson, his family, Gordon, and Tamara (because he knew she was cheating on him).

Their only choice is to walk and try to find help, eventually finding a group of Chinese people including a young monk named Nima and his grandparents, trying to get on the ships with the help of his brother, Tenzin, who works on them. The brothers' grandmother forces Tenzin to help Jackson and his companions to get on the ship as well. Tenzin agrees.

While they are trying to sneak through the bowels of the American ship, one of Tenzin's tools gets caught in the gears of the gate to the ship, leaving it slightly open, not allowing the ship to move. Tenzin's leg is severely injured and Gordon is killed in the gears in front of Jackson. The water begins filling up and Tamara saves Lilly and Caesar from drowning, sacrificing herself. Just as Adrian arrives on the communicator, Jackson desperately screams to open the door, but the door is sealed off because it's trying to prevent more water from entering the ship. There was no room to get any air to breathe in the chamber. It was a suicide mission, but Jackson volunteers to go in and remove the tool. As he is about to swim to the chamber, Noah desperately asks his father to help him out. But Jackson denies him the permission, as he says Noah needs to watch over Lilly. Kate walks over to Jackson, and they share a passionate kiss before Jackson enters. Kate says, "I love you" to Jackson, worried that they won't see each other again, afraid Jackson might die. So Jackson enters the chamber and tries to pull the Impact driver out, but it's jammed tightly. With help from his son Noah, they are successful. The ship manages to start its engines before it could impact Mount Everest. Jackson is nearly killed by drowning but manages to get out. Jackson later reconciles with his family.


Jackson, Kate, Noah, and Lilly all survived the apocalypse, along with the Karpov twins, who decide to share Caesar with Jackson's family. They all are forced to begin a new life and find a new home in the now-transformed continent of Africa which has risen up the sea level. He and Noah reconcile on the deck of the ship where Noah began to call him "dad", fully respecting him as the family continue to watch the horizon.


Jackson Curtis was first oblivious that the apocalypse was coming as he only heard news on TV and from religious people (even Charlie Frost) who held up signs saying that the end is near, which sometimes set Jackson to thinking, but like other people, he thought the apocalypse wasn't going to happen. Jackson is a kind and loving father to his daughter Lilly and his son Noah of who he cared and loved deeply. While he was close to Lilly, he struggled hard to develop a better relationship with his son Noah as he was cold towards Jackson after he and Kate were separated, he also felt left out that Noah is more attached to Gordon. Jackson is also adventurous as he took Noah and Lilly camping to Yellowstone National Park to find a place in the park where he and Kate used to hang out a lot before they were married.

When the apocalypse started, Jackson became alarmed and shocked as he realized that everything he heard from Charlie Frost and on the TV were right about the apocalypse happening. He did not want to let his family die in vain (for nothing) and wanted to get to the arks, where the government had been secretly building, with his family in order to survive.

Jackson was very brave and courageous as he was willing to save his family in order to escape the cataclysmic events of the apocalypse. He felt very sorry for Kate and Noah about Gordon's death as he also became friends with him but after the apocalypse ended, he and Kate rekindled their relationship and Noah had grown more attached to him, making him have a better relationship with him.


  • Jackson Curtis was portrayed by John Cusack.
  • John Cusack received a nomination for the Science-Fiction Award for the Best Actor for his role.
  • His name is a reference to the birth name of rapper 50 Cent.