2012 Film Wiki

The critics were right about you. You are an unabashed optimist
~ Adrian Helmsley to Jackson

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 romantically 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 late 2012, Jackson Curtis was awakening for a normal day in Manhattan Beach, California. He was first oblivious that the apocalypse was coming, only hearing news of it from the TV.

After Jackson was woken up by a small quake, he sees the time on his watch and realizes that he was late to take his children out camping to Yellowstone. 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 was 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 apartment.

He then tries to start his SUV, but was angry and annoyed that it's broken down and has to take his limo instead. As he drives away from Manhattan Beach to one of the boulevards in Los Angeles, he sees a disabled man 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 the horn from his limo to make his family know that he was here, his 7-year-old daughter Lilly and 10-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 annoyed Jackson, who told him to call him by the latter title.

Kate then comes out and handed 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 greeted Jackson and told him that he has a nice limo, he then says goodbye to Noah, Lilly, and Kate before going into his Porsche. Lilly then reminded Kate to tell Jackson that Lilly had to wear Pull-Ups every night to stop her from wetting her bed. Kate then told Jackson not to spend too much time on his laptop, Jackson agreed. 

Camping in Yellowstone National Park[]

A few days later, Jackson and Lilly were 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" were flying in Yellowstone all morning, which made Jackson, Noah, and Lilly very confused.

While they were hiking through Yellowstone, Jackson told Lilly and Noah that he was 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, which had a "restricted access" sign posted on the fence. Jackson said the sign wasn't there before, he then picks up Lilly's hat and tosses it over the fence. Jackson and Lilly ignore the sign as they continue by climbing over it, despite Noah telling them about the sign.

They come across an area that was once a lake that Jackson and Kate would visit before they were married. They went to investigate the lake as it was dry. Lilly felt disgusted when she sees a dead deer lying on the dried lake. Suddenly, they then hear helicopters and Humvees coming over the hill. Lilly asked Jackson who they are, Jackson told her it's the U.S. Army. When the U.S. military arrived near the lake, one of them informed Jackson, Lily, and Noah that they were in a restricted area. As a result, the military brings them to a government research facility, where Jackson witnessed the personnel stations monitoring the seismic and geological activity going around Yellowstone.

In the research facility, the family met Dr. Adrian Helmsley who 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, Farewell Atlantis, the science fiction novel Jackson published. Adrian told Jackson he's a fan of the novel after his dad bought the book and gave it to him, also Adrian was reading the novel in college. After the family met Adrian, he told one of the Majors part of the U.S. military to kindly take them back to the campgrounds.

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 are restricted, Noah was then bitten by a mosquito and asks Jackson if he sprayed the tent. Jackson told him that he was going to get bug spray the next day, Lilly tells Jackson that he wouldn’t work on his book. Jackson truthfully said that he was 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.

After a while in the night, Charlie hosted a radio broadcast from his camper, which was heard by Jackson in his limo while he was working on his book. Jackson comes to visit Charlie in his trailer, he told Charlie about the broadcast he heard and wondered what it meant. Charlie then explained all about the apocalypse and how it was soon coming, including the Ark's construction. Charlie showed Jackson an animated video made by himself talking about the apocalypse. Charlie explains to Jackson that first the stock market and the economy will crash, riots and war will break out around the world. Jackson told him it didn't make sense and said nobody could keep that big of a secret. Charlie then showed Jackson scientists and people who tried to warn the public about the apocalypse and the government has been hiding it from the general public, going far to kill them and covering their deaths up as "accidents." Jackson noticed there was a scientist, "Douglas Meyers", which he remembered the scientist helped him did the research on Jackson's novel. Charlie said that two months ago before Meyers died, gave him a map for the Arks. Jackson asked Charlie what the map was for, Charlie whispered in his ear that "they" are building "ships", to rescue people who can afford a ticket. Jackson didn't believe this at first, due to him being oblivious of the upcoming apocalypse, and felt that Charlie was acting crazy and leaves back to his campsite.

On the next day, Jackson, Noah, and Lilly went to a small store to get medication for mosquito bites. While the cashier finds the cure, Lilly noticed and said her teacher was on TV, as she watched. As Jackson heard Lilly, he headed over to the TV and increased the volume. Jackson watched the news that a supermarket in Los Angeles had been hit by an earthquake which created a crack in the store that was shown by 12 KNBS News. Which the news informed luckily there weren't any casualties. Noah gets a call from Kate (who she and Gordon had survived the earthquake in the store) that she 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 wasn't jealous. Before Kate headed inside her home, she asked Jackson if he wanted to have breakfast and have pancakes. But he told her that he couldn't since he was late for work. After Jackson left the household, he got a call from Yuri, he told Yuri he finished his vacation at Yellowstone and Yuri replied saying that's good. Yuri ordered Jackson to pick up his twin sons, Alec and Oleg to Santa Monica Airport as fast as he can, Jackson soon arrived at the luxury French hotel to pick up Alec and Oleg. Then, he arrived at the airport and meets Sasha. The twins were rude to him, saying he will die and they will live because they have tickets to the Arks.

This immediately sparks his attention and after he heard Charlie on the radio saying the Los Angeles government's authority wasn't worried about the apocalypse made Jackson realize that the apocalypse was beginning after a small earthquake shook again and he saw a small crack appear below his limo. He headed into a plane warehouse and rented a plane by giving his watch to a pilot who owned a Western Spirit, and he left the airport quickly after he witnessing Sasha's plane took off. In the Curtis household, the family were having breakfast and were listening to the government's press conference who states that the seismic activity has been zero. Jackson called Kate and warned her about California going down at any moment, including to pack up their children and get the family out, but Kate thought Jackson was acting crazy and told him to talk to her when he calmed down, and then hangs up on him.

Just as this happens, a 10.9 magnitude earthquake shakes the entire city and the house begins falling apart. Jackson arrives with his limo and the family escape and survived 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 Jackson was looking at the map, he discovered the Arks are in China and told his family and Gordon that they will need a larger plane to get there. During the late afternoon, 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 500 and agrees to fly them to China, but he needs another pilot. Lily advocates Gordon for co-pilot to Sasha and Yuri, Gordon tried to deny he isn't a pilot. Jackson told Yuri that Gordon is a great pilot, which Yuri and Sasha agrees. After that, Jackson's family, Gordon, Yuri's family, and Sasha headed out of the airport while ignoring one of the fire department staff who warned them to go back inside the airport. Outside the airport, they found the Antonov 500. They rapidly run inside the Antonov as the ash cloud nearly reaches the airport and many people run inside. Jackson, Yuri, and their families nearly escape the ash cloud 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 caused a explosion, 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 Arks, 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's grandmother forces Tenzin to help Jackson and his companions to get on the ship as well, Tenzin agrees.

While they were trying to sneak through the bowels of Ark 04, one of Tenzin's tools gets caught in the gears of the gate to the ship, leaving it slightly open, not allowing the Ark to move. Tenzin's leg is severely injured and Gordon was killed in the gears in front of Jackson. The water began 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 wasn't any 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 allow him to come. 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 him, worried that they won't see each other again, afraid Jackson might die. Jackson enters the chamber and tries to pull the Impact driver out, but it's jammed tightly. Noah secretly sneaks in and directs Jackson to the cable. With the father and son work, they successfully free the driver from the gears, thanks to the ship running aground some submerged mountainsides. The ship manages to start its engines before it could impact Mount Everest. Jackson was nearly killed by drowning but manages to get out, he 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 them. They and the rest of the survivors set sail to the now-transformed continent of Africa which has risen above sea level to begin a new life there. He and Noah reconcile on the deck of the ship where he hands the latter back his mobile phone, which was recovered during the Ark 4 flooding. 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 kooks 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, the Karpov twins, and on the TV were right about the apocalypse happening. He didn't 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.
  • Jackson's birthday claims to be July 28th, 1979, via his driver license.