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You told your father everything. Put this entire plan in jeopardy. Good thing for you the old man could keep his mouth shut better than you. Oh, come on. Don't look so shocked. We had to monitor everybody who knew. How do you think we kept it a secret for so long?
~ Carl Anheuser to Dr. Helmsley before leaving Washington D.C.
Carl Anheuser is the main antagonist in the 2009 film 2012. He is the White House Chief of Staff, and later the de facto President of the United States after the real President's demise in Washington, D.C. He tries to keep the 2012 disaster as a secret from the world in order to prevent a massive panic, and believes that only the most important and richest people should board the arks created by the G-8.
He was portrayed by Oliver Platt, who also portrayed Hades in the 2009 superhero movie Wonder Woman, Harvey in Beethoven, Apollo in Gods Behaving Badly, and High Priest in Year One.
Role in 2012
Anheuser is seen celebrating a party at the Grand Plaza Hotel in Washington DC in 2009, where a geologist named Adrian Helmsley arrives 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 became stunned and decided to take Adrian to meet US President Thomas Wilson.
Since the discovery of the world's ending in 2009 and the construction the Arks, Anheuser decided to take over the international media to assure that the 2012 disaster would never be told in order to prevent a massive panic, going to the point where several scientists from around the world are killed in various accidents when they tried to warn the public, including Roland Picard the director of the Lourve.
Soon, the worldwide apocalypse began as Los Angeles sinks into the Pacific and several earthquakes wreaking several cities around the globe. Later on, during the evening of the date where the apocalypse is occurring, Anheuser is speaking to his mother on his phone one last time before Adrian arrives to inform Anheuser to show another earthquake striking South America and chaos breaking in London and people around the globe are gathering in public places in desperate prayer on live TV.
While Adrian argues that the rest of the public have the right to fight for their lives in the best way they can and Anheuser explaining that a massive panic will be caused if they told them about the end of the world. Professor West comes to inform them that the Yellowstone Caldera has erupted and the ash cloud would hit Washington in seven hours. While looking for President Wilson who is in the church praying, while the rest of the staff heads to board Air Force One to get to the arks, Wilson talks to Adrian that he chooses to stay in DC to address the nation one last time and tells him that he used to have a wife named Dorothy.
Adrian then boards Air Force One, as all the staff were on board and says that the President is not coming and Anheuser reveals that the Vice President is dead and the Speaker of the White House is missing and he becomes the de-facto President although he is not in the line of succession. After taking off, all they watch on the screen was President Wilson addresses the nation one last time.
In the computer room, the staff has recorded more disasters around the world, including the fact when Anheuser learns that the Italian Prime Minister has also stayed behind in Italy with his family. They see a 9.4 hitting the capital of USA and even seeing that the Earth's crust has finally begun to shift more than a thousand miles and after the moving landmasses come to a halt, gigantic mega-tsunamis formed by the corresponding quakes are going to flood the entire planet and turning it into a "water-world". Adrian finds that more tsunamis are going to strike the Japanese seaboard and there was a high possibility that it will capsize The Genesis, (the cruise ship that his father Harry was on).
Adrian and Anheuser discover that the tsunamis will flood the Cho Ming area within six hours and the crust has shifted by 23 degrees to the southwest and the Earth's poles have reversed their magnetic fields and Wisconsin is now the South Pole and the North Pole is now somewhere in the Indian Ocean, while Professor West says that Wisconsin is north the North Pole, but the South Pole, which confuses Adrian and Anheuser.
After they landed in China, they begin to board the American Ark, as soon they saw Ark 3 where it is blocked after the roof collapsed during the shifting of the Earth's crust, which stuns Anheuser. After learning about another wave coming from the east, Anheuser immediately wants to leave as they only had a short amount of time before they are washed up by the wave.
After the arks were prepared for the upcoming mega-tsunami, Adrian, Laura and Professor West are shocked when they see all the survivors (including Yuri Karpov and his sons Alec & Oleg) frantically wanting to get onto the Arks while some of them are falling off the ledge. Adrian then gives an inspirational speech to the other two Arks. He protests that they cannot let the survivors die and have the rest of human civilization die in vain (including his friend Satnam who was killed with his family in a tsunami in Eastern India) by starting their future with an act of cruelty. Despite Anheuser trying to convince them to leave the people as they have 15 minutes left, the people on the Arks decided to let the survivors come aboard the Arks and that they cannot leave them to die.
Right after bringing all of the survivors on board the Ark, the gate's hydraulics were jammed by something and they have a breach in the Zoological Bay. As they zoom in, Adrian sees Noah and Lilly which he knows and seeing Jackson Curtis helping Tenzin get into the next bay. They see that Tenzin is injured while he and his family along with the Curtis family have stowed away on the Ark in order to survive. After Anheuser arrogantly berates them, Adrian, Laura for their devotion to the survivors, an ark staff went off to the Zoological Bay to inform Jackson about the jammed hydraulics (in a deleted scene, Adrian punches Anheuser out of anger to shut him up).
After the gigantic tsunami flooded Asia and Air Force One hit one of the Ark's anchors which sets the Ark off course, Adrian, Laura, and the Ark staff arrive at the Zoological Bay where they find Lilly and Caesar screaming for Tamara (who drowns in the flooding chamber). They managed to speak to Jackson and inform about the hydraulics being jammed by an Impact Driver and that if they don't get it out, they will collide with Mount Everest. Jackson and Noah managed to get the drill out of the gears and they escape death just in time. They all thought that Jackson had drowned, but he managed to get out.
In the aftermath of the 2012 apocalypse, Anheuser is not seen until the Arks begin to set sail for the Cape of Good Hope where Africa has risen due to the global floodwaters from the tsunamis receding. In a deleted scene to the alternative ending of the film, Anheuser comes up to the bridge and apologizes to Adrian for his actions.
Despite being arrogant and an elitist, Anheuser wanted to guarantee the survival of the human race, even if it mainly consisted of the highest and most influential members of mankind. His strong will and ability not to be manipulated by emotions made him a better choice to organize the survival of the human race than Dr. Adrian Helmsley.
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 points himself acting President, one can assume that all other positions (after the Speaker of the House) did not aboard Air Force One.
When a person acts as the leader of a nation, when they're NOT next in line after the leader, It is called "Alexander Haig Syndrome", which Anheuser was having.
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.