July 25, 2009 at 12:00 PM EDT

Director Roland Emmerich (Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow)may be the king of the disaster movie, but he doesn’t really want the world to end. Showing off his latest apocalyptic would-be blockbuster, 2012, at Comic-Con, Emmerich — joined by one of the film’s stars, Woody Harrelson — said there’s one simple reason he favors these kinds of movies: relatability. “I loved disaster movies like The Towering Inferno as a kid. They’re about real people who don’t have any specific talents. I don’t have any real talent so I was drawn to them.” With Danny Glover as president and an Arnold Schwarzenegger lookalike playing the Governator, Emmerich destroys all of Los Angeles and then some in his modern-day Noah’s Ark-meets-Mayan-mythology tale, which stars John Cusack as a dad trying to rescue his wife and daughter — and, if possible, the world.

After screening a clip of California being destroyed, Emmerich said he’s ready to let go of his apocalyptic fixation for now:”This will be my last one–the mother of all disaster films.” His next project, he said, will be an adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s science-fiction novel, Foundation.

Harrelson was doing double-duty at Sony’s panel, promoting both 2012 and his R-rated horror comedy, Zombieland, about a group of people surviving a zombie apocalypse. Did he ever expect to star in a zombiemovie? “I certainly could have hoped for it,” Harrelson said. “It was high time I got offered a zombie movie.”

As for rumors that Bill Murray plays a zombie in the movie, Harrelson said, ” I can confirm that there is a rumor that Bill Murray is in Zombieland.”

Photo Credit (top): Glen Wilson

Photo Credit (bottom): Joe Lederer

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