San Andreas has already raked in more dough than the entire haul of last year’s tornado thriller Into the Storm. Which, in originality-starved Hollywood, means only one thing: MORE EARTHQUAKES! Which fault line will form the backdrop for the next Rock-starring disaster drama? There’s one obvious choice.
The Cascadia Subduction Zone, which runs for 680 miles off the coast of Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia, is capable of producing earthquakes “30 times more powerful than the worst the San Andreas can dish out.” And it’s been over 300 years since the region has been hit with a big quake, Wired points out, upping the scare quotient by adding:
An earthquake of this size would completely devastate the region, which includes Portland, Seattle and Vancouver. There could be thousands of deaths and unprecedented damage for a quake in this country. Major travel routes will be impassable. The shaking could last a full four minutes, which would damage or bring down structures that could have survived a shorter duration.
On top of the danger from shaking, within minutes, a tsunami would likely inundate the low-lying coastal areas. Cascadia is the same type of fault that caused the 2004 Sumatra quake and tsunami.
To you and I, that sounds horrifying. To Hollywood, that sounds like an outstanding opportunity to lay a CG smackdown on even more of the North American West Coast. Given San Andreas’ love of mangling landmarks, this hypothetical sequel would definitely, definitely contain some kind of drama involving the Space Needle. Probably this: the Rock’s daughter, Blake, now a freshly-minted college graduate, meets up with her British boyfriend at the top of the iconic structure, where his plan to pop the question is rudely interrupted when the earth starts shaking. Oh noooo, not again!
Meanwhile, Paul Giamatti’s character is no longer a Caltech professor; after his earthquake-prediction model helped save lives in the great San Andreas outbreak of 2015, he’s been promoted to head of the U.S. Geological Survey. He spends the entire movie in a single room safely on the East Coast, barking into a telephone and staring at computer screens, muttering things like “Oh my god, it still isn’t over!”
And, of course, the Rock and Carla Gugino have called off their divorce, are blissfully happy, etc. However, since Los Angeles is still being rebuilt, and they want to be near Blake, they’ve relocated to the Seattle area, where Ray runs a search-and-rescue outfit dedicated to saving stranded hikers. The megaquake will spawn a terrifying avalanche that’s even more vivid than that San Francisco tsunami. Probably, one of the big mountains in the Pacific Northwest will erupt amid all of this. In the service of heroism, Ray will drive a train and ride a motorcycle, since those were just about the only two types of vehicles he didn’t get to drive in the first film. Bonus points if he also rides a horse.
Note: if a volcano, or really any of the above, isn’t actually part of what would happen if the Cascadia Subduction Zone went off, Hollywood doesn’t care. Most importantly the effects will look cool, the Rock will save everyone (that he’s related to), and it will end with Blake planning her honeymoon in South America. You know, right over the Peru-Chile Trench. What could possibly go wrong?