There's just something about watching the whole world go boom on the big screen, isn't there? Case in point: Independence Day. Sure, not exactly what you would call a great film, but I think most of us were sold on the flick the moment we saw the White House go up in a ball of fire. It might be twisted, but audiences just can't get enough of the end of civilization; Roland Emmerich went with a Mayan doomsday prophecy for his disaster flick, 2012, but I Am Legend's Francis Lawrence is going for something a little more scientific for his next film. The Hollywood Reporter announced that Fox has hired Lawrence to direct a feature film version of Alan Weisman's book, The World Without Us.

Weisman's book focuses on what would happen to the natural and built environment if humans suddenly disappeared. Sure, the whole thing is an educated guess based on Weisman's interviews with leading academics and scientists, but as educated guesses go, it's pretty good. So if you've ever wondered how long it would take for this civilization of ours to die out, here is your answer, and the bad news is that it won't take long at all. On the upside, though, at least Mount Rushmore would still be standing.

Mark Protosevich has been hired to write the script before heading off to work on the Oldboy update for Dreamworks. But Fox doesn't intend to make a documentary (which was done* once before) and instead Protosevich's script will make use of Weisman's science as the background for the story. I have to admit, Lawrence would seen to be the ideal choice for the flick -- especially since his vision of the world left behind in Legend was possibly the best thing about that film.

But this has me thinking: what are some of the best 'End of the Word' flicks? I'll even start you off with one of my nominations: Dr. Strangelove. Now it's your turn...


*Correction: The link provided for The World Without Us documentary was an error, and was not meant to make any political associations with Weisman's work.