Eight years after Al Gore taught the world about climate change, one film is hoping to pick up where An Inconvenient Truth left off. That would be the highly anticipated (but highly unscientific) upcoming Syfy TV movie Sharknado 2: The Second One.
"This is the most important film ever made about climate change," star Judah Friedlander jokingly told reporters at NBC's Summer Press Day Tuesday. "I want to be a part of this movie to help save the city."
A year after Sharknado took Twitter — and the globe — by storm, the sequel hopes to recreate that same buzz and break those same social media records — this time 3,000 miles away from sunny Los Angeles. "We went to New York and it's a whole new set of tinker toys," director Anthony C. Ferrante said. "It's the Statue of Liberty. Its Broadway."
Unfortunately, the movie's 18-day shoot took place almost entirely during one of the roughest winters in the city's history. "I've lived in New York for 30 years and this was definitely the worst weather I've ever experienced in 30 years," Friedlander said, "and we were shooting this summer movie."
Star Mark McGrath said the bad weather actually helped production in a few interesting ways. "I feel like we almost went to battle a little bit and that made us closer," McGrath said. "God was in on the special effects of the movie."
Added Kari Wuhrer: "New York is a character in the movie. Weather is a character in the movie. Sharks are a character in the movie."
In addition to these characters, there are also lots of new faces in the form of Finn's (Ian Ziering) extended family. Wuhrer plays his sister, McGrath plays his brother-in-law and Friedlander portrays Finn's childhood friend. "It's a family kind of trying to deal with weird stuff," Ferrante said. "We've kept that same mandate. We always try to ground the characters as much as possible."
Although Sharknado 2 may take place in a new locale with new characters and new (and very problematic) weather, Ferrante said the sequel won't stray far from the original too much. One thing that stayed the same? The show's relatively small budget. "Each movie, you try to make it better. We try to perfect the tornado on this one even more because we want to make it more of a character," Ferrante said. "Some of the charm of the movie is that maybe some of the stuff isn't quite perfect."
The first film's signature amount of camp will also be abundant — which the cast and crew believe played a big part of the original's success. "Its unpretentious, it's fun and it's the type of movie, you can turn it on at any point and instantly be entertained and be locked in and want to finish it," Friendlander said. "It's very communal even though people might not be watching it in a theater."
Added Ferrante: "You're making a movie called Sharknado and if you don't embrace it, you have a serious problem."
Sharknado 2: The Second One premieres Wednesday, July 30 at 9/8c on Syfy.