Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012)

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World 2012tt1307068.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012)
  • Rate: 6.7/10 total 31,168 votes 
  • Genre: Drama | Romance | Sci-Fi
  • Release Date: 22 June 2012 (USA)
  • Runtime: 101 min
  • Filming Location: Santa Clarita, California, USA
  • Budget: $10,000,000(estimated)
  • Gross: $6,619,173(USA)(1 July 2012)
  • Director: Lorene Scafaria
  • Stars: Steve Carell, Keira Knightley and Melanie Lynskey|See full cast and crew
  • Original Music By: Jonathan Sadoff  Rob Simonsen   
  • Sound Mix: Datasat | Dolby Digital
  • Plot Keyword: Road Trip | Written By Director | Insurance Business | Record Collector | No Survivors

Writing Credits By:

    (in alphabetical order)

  • Lorene Scafaria  screenplay

Known Trivia

  • The story of an “unexpected romance blossoming between two strangers while on an impromptu road trip” is familiar territory for Director Lorene Scafaria, as that was the premise of her previous screenplay, “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist”.
  • Steve Carell and Nancy Carell, who play husband and wife briefly in this film, are husband and wife in real life.
  • Penny, while escaping the apartment with a stack of record albums, the visible records change, at times you can see Lou Reed’s “Coney Island Baby”, John Cale’s “Vintage Violence” and Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass’ “The Beat of The Brass.”

Goofs: Continuity: When Dodge and Penny go to Olivia's house, Penny breaks the window. They then enter the house, and you can see the window in the background, unbroken. Then a few seconds later, another shot occurs and the window is broken again.

Plot: As an asteroid nears Earth, a man finds himself alone after his wife leaves in a panic. He decides to take a road trip to reunite with his high school sweetheart. Accompanying him is a neighbor who inadvertently puts a wrench in his plan. Full summary »  »

Story: An asteroid named "Matilda" is on a collision course towards Earth and in three weeks the world will come to an absolute end. What would you do if your life and the world were doomed? One man decides to spend his time searching for his long lost love from high school during the coming catastrophe.Written by Douglas Young (the-movie-guy)  


Synopsis: A broadcast announces that a seventy mile wide asteroid nicknamed ‘Matilda’ is on a collision course with Earth and that a last-ditch effort to destroy it has failed. The world has three weeks until impact, at which time all of humanity will be wiped out. Dodge Petersen (Steve Carell) and his wife, Linda (Nancy Carell), listen to the announcement (voice of Brad Morris) from their car radio at the side of the road. Seconds later, and without saying a word to him, Linda flees the vehicle.

The next day, Dodge returns to a near empty workplace where he sells insurance. While everyone around him has reacted differently to the impending doom by either indulging in drugs or engaging in guilt-free sex, Dodge’s life remains the same. Even the absence of his wife cannot shake the stagnant predictability of it. His housekeeper, Elsa (Tonita Castro), continues to show up at his apartment to clean despite Dodge’s insistence that there is no further need to do so.

After attending a friend’s party, Dodge returns home and reminisces about his high school sweetheart, Olivia. He then notices his neighbor Penny (Keira Knightley) crying on the fire escape. She admits to him that she has just ended her relationship with her boyfriend Owen (link=nm0111013]) for making her miss an opportunity to see her family in England. Returning to her apartment, Penny gives Dodge a handful of mail she received for him but kept forgetting to deliver – indirectly telling him through one of the letters that Linda was having an affair.

Dodge storms off into the night, guzzling cough syrup and Windex in an attempt to kill himself. The next morning, however, he regains consciousness and finds a note on his sweater reading "Sorry" accompanied by a dog (Aleister) tethered to his foot. He takes Sorry home and opens the rest of his mail where he is surprised to find a letter from Olivia. That night, a riot breaks out nearby. Dodge resolves to escape his apartment before the mass arrives and takes Sorry. He then collects Penny who rushes to collect her record collection and she and Owen follow him downstairs and outside to Penny’s car…that has conveniently been boxed in by other cars. Owen steps out to give Penny guidance but impatiently berates her for what he sees as poor navigation. Irritated and with the rioters quickly approaching, Penny slams on the gas, knocking the car in front of her out of the way and abandoning Owen. She confidently tells a bewildered Dodge that Owen will be fine.

As they make their way out of town, Dodge tells Penny that, if she can drive him to find his high school sweetheart, he will take her to someone who can fly her to England to see her family. She agrees. Eventually, the car runs out of gas and Dodge and Penny are left to walk. Frustrated by the situation, Dodge snaps at Penny for failing to give him his mail in a timely manner, seeing that it would have given him all the time he needed to find Olivia. Feeling especially guilty for ‘ruining his life’, Penny hails an oncoming vehicle to hitchhike them to their respective destinations. A kindly trucker (William Petersen) picks them up and regales the couple with his life story, something Penny becomes enraptured in. During a pit stop, Penny exits the truck and the trucker confronts Dodge on ‘how he’s going to do it’. He makes light of Dodge’s confusion and has enough time to admit he’s hired an assassin to have himself killed before a bullet pierces the windshield and lodges itself in the trucker’s head. The assassin’s car speeds off in the distance.

Dodge and Penny bury the trucker and decide to take his truck further on…however Penny neglected to take the car keys out of the man’s pocket. Dodge begrudgingly begins to dig the man out. Later on, as they drive, they find a restaurant by the name of Friendsy’s which appears to be alive with patrons. Hungry, Dodge and Penny enter where they find the place buzzing with optimism and good cheer. Their host, Darcy T.J. Miller), cheerfully takes them to their table where Penny fibs that it’s Dodge’s birthday. The entire staff celebrates and Penny and Dodge are given inventive drinks and dishes, including a burger with a donut as a bun. Having had quite a bit to drink, Penny and Dodge leave the restaurant in time before a mass orgy breaks out and Darcy proceeds to make out with waitress Katie (Gillian Jacobs).

Penny and Dodge make it, laughing, to the truck and, on the spur of the moment, begin to make out and have sex. As they drive off, Dodge regrets his brash actions with a woman so young (Penny admits she’s only 28) but she tells him it was merely end-of-the-world, casual sex. Soon after, they are pulled over by a policeman (Bob Stephenson), only when Dodge insists as Penny would rather try to outrun him, who demands to see Penny’s license and registration despite her eloquent explanation to their predicament. When she admits that she has none of the required paperwork, the two are promptly arrested and placed in a holding cell at the station. The next morning, they are found by another officer (Jim O'Heir) who sympathetically releases them, cursing his subordinate for taking the law too seriously. He drives them to Camden where Penny is reunited with an old flame named Speck (Derek Luke), a muscular, militant young man who shows Penny and Dodge his bomb shelter beneath his house, stocked with 6 month’s worth of food and enough entertainment to last a lifetime. Speck is confident that his shelter will provide the safety to survive the apocalypse and offers Penny his satellite phone to call her family. While she is tearfully reunited with her parents and siblings over the phone, Speck bluntly tells Dodge that his company is no longer needed and that it would be more fitting for Penny to stay in Camden, hinting at her potential to restart the human race as a healthy, young female.

Penny, however, requests from Speck one of his smart cars so that she can drive Dodge to where he needs to go. Speck agrees and makes her promise to return. Penny and Dodge track down Olivia’s last known residence but the house appears empty. Penny forces their entry and they find the home devoid of any inhabitants but stocked with food. They stay overnight and Penny plays some of her records on an old player they find after cooking dinner. She then finds a letter inside a kitchen drawer and sadly presents it to Dodge, pointing out a return address not far away. The next morning, they drive out to the house where Dodge walks up to the door alone before quickly returning to the car and driving off. Confused, Penny asks what happened. Dodge tells her that it appeared Olivia was home but he simply left her a letter on the doorstep, leaving nothing else to be said.

As they drive away, they nearly collide with a stream of couples and families crossing the road and making their way to a nearby beach. Dodge and Penny take Sorry and follow the assembly to the water’s edge where each person is baptized under the hot sun. Standing on the shore, Dodge and Penny kiss, reaffirming their feelings for each other and, as the sun sets, they join the other people as they light bonfires and spend the waning hours playing music and socializing. Dodge teaches Penny how to play the harmonica before they return to the car.

They make their way further on until they arrive in Somerset County and stop at an isolated house in the fields. Dodge brings Penny to the door and they greet Frank (Martin Sheen) who recognizes Dodge and lets them in. He then reveals himself to be Dodge’s estranged father, whom Dodge has not seen in twenty-five years. Penny is overwhelmed to meet him. While Penny freshens up before dinner, Dodge and Frank have a mild argument over Frank’s absence in Dodge’s life. Frank apologizes and, eventually, they reconcile.

They all share a meal together and catch up on the time lost. After Penny falls asleep, Dodge carefully carries her outside where Frank is waiting in his plane to take her to England – having been the person in mind all along. Dodge rests her in the cockpit and gives her his harmonica as a keepsake, gingerly kissing her on the forehead and whispering that she is the love of his life. Dodge then shuts the door, nods to his father, and watches the plane fly away.

He returns home to find Elsa in his apartment cleaning and she cheerily greets him. He angrily yells at her, telling her to go home to her family but, after seeing her confusion and despondence, apologizes for his outburst and tells her to forget it. She asks if she will see him the next week and leaves. Dodge turns on the television where the news anchorman (Mark Moses) announces that ‘Matilda’ is due to arrive prematurely and that only sixteen hours remain until impact. The anchorman thanks his audience for their attention before leaving to go home to his family, a statement that touches Dodge.

Dodge goes to Penny’s apartment and lies down on the floor, listening to her records, before the power goes out. When he gets up, he finds Penny standing in the dark living room and she asks him how he could have left her. He admits that it was a stupid thing to do before they tearfully embrace. Shortly after, they lie in bed and Dodge asks Penny why she didn’t go to her family. She tells him that her parents are romantics and will understand why she couldn’t leave without Dodge. They talk about how things might have been between them if they’d known each other longer and Penny begins to panic as time grows short. Dodge calmly asks about her childhood and Penny tells him of her siblings and late sister, Patricia, as the first boom of impact sounds. Penny begins to cry and tells Dodge she’s scared and wishes they could have saved each other. Dodge assures her that they did and smiles warmly at her. Penny smiles back, unafraid, as the screen slowly fades to white.

{tab=FullCast & Crew}

Produced By:

  • Nicole Brown known as executive producer
  • Steve Golin known as producer
  • Joy Gorman known as producer
  • Nathan Kahane known as executive producer
  • Kelli Konop known as co-producer
  • Patty Long known as line producer
  • Steven M. Rales known as producer
  • Mark Roybal known as producer

FullCast & Crew:

  • Brad Morris known as Radio Announcer
  • Steve Carell known as Dodge
  • Nancy Carell known as Linda
  • Mark Moses known as Anchorman
  • Roger Aaron Brown known as Alfred
  • Rob Huebel known as Jeremy
  • Trisha Gorman known as Crying Woman
  • Keira Knightley known as Penny
  • Adam Brody known as Owen
  • Tonita Castro known as Elsa
  • Leslie Murphy known as Amy
  • Connie Britton known as Diane
  • Rob Corddry known as Warren
  • Kasey Campbell known as Danny
  • Melanie Lynskey known as Karen
  • Vince Grant known as Man #1 / Chip
  • Amy Schumer known as Woman #1 / Lacey
  • Patton Oswalt known as Roache
  • Marshall Manesh known as Indian Man
  • Aleister known as Sorry
  • William Petersen known as Trucker
  • T.J. Miller known as Chipper Host / Darcy
  • Gillian Jacobs known as Waitress / Katie
  • Bob Stephenson known as Officer Wally Johnson
  • Rene Gube known as Cell-Mate
  • Jim O'Heir known as Cop #2
  • Derek Luke known as Speck
  • Daniel Maurio known as Toilet Guy
  • Martin Sheen known as Frank
  • Tony Brown known as Gay Party Guest (uncredited)
  • Brice Crawford known as Bikini Girl (uncredited)
  • Melinda Dillon known as Rose (uncredited)
  • Ami Haruna known as Kissing Waitress (uncredited)
  • Jake Lucas known as Gay Party Guest (uncredited)
  • Laura Perloe known as Sarah (uncredited)
  • Prestin Persson known as Bikini Girl (uncredited)
  • Vivian Smallwood known as Speck's Mother (uncredited)
  • Pat O. Smith known as Friendsy's Customer (uncredited)
  • Lauren K. Solomon known as Kissing Friendsy's Customer (uncredited)
  • Chris Spinelli known as Cyclist (uncredited)
  • Steve Stafford known as Airplane Pilot (uncredited)
  • Monica Staggs known as Baptist Mother (uncredited)
  • Hannah Victoria Stock known as Party Girl (uncredited)
  • Jack Story known as Steve-O (uncredited)
  • Gary J. Wayton known as Drunk Wrestler (uncredited)

..{tab=Supporting Department}Makeup Department:

  • David LeRoy Anderson known as makeup artist: Steve Carell (as David L. Anderson)
  • Nancy Baca known as additional makeup artist (as Nancy C. Baca)
  • Brooke Baron known as additional makeup artist: additional production period
  • April M. Chaney known as additional makeup artist: additional production period
  • JoAnn Gerard known as additional hair stylist (as Jo Ann Gerard)
  • Roxane Griffin known as co-key hair stylist (as Roxanne Griffin)
  • Angela Gurule known as co-key hair stylist: additional makeup artist: additional production period
  • Camille Henderson known as additional makeup artist
  • Rolf John Keppler known as additional makeup artist
  • Peter Kukla known as additional hair stylist (as Peter Kukal)
  • Lisa Meyers known as additional hair stylist
  • Margarita Pidgeon known as additional hair stylist
  • Peter Tothpal known as co-key hair stylist
  • Laurel Van Dyke known as additional hair stylist
  • Jeanne Van Phue known as makeup department head

Art Department:

  • Brian S. Childs known as propmaker
  • Randy L. Childs known as construction coordinator
  • John Herbert known as paint supervisor
  • David Hogan known as storyboard artist
  • Cynthia Kershaw known as art department coordinator
  • Gay Perello known as property master
  • Aaron G. Rodriguez known as stand-by painter
  • Dori Hana Scherer known as art department assistant
  • Jefry Shebroe known as props
  • Jeffrey D. Stevens known as construction medic
  • Julie Witherington known as on set property master
  • Julie Witherington known as prop master


Production Companies:

  • Anonymous Content
  • Indian Paintbrush
  • Mandate Pictures

Other Companies:

  • Chapman/Leonard Studio Equipment  camera cranes
  • Chapman/Leonard Studio Equipment  camera dollies
  • Codex Digital  digital recording equipment
  • Digital Media Services (DMS)  digital marketing asset management
  • Direct Tools & Fasteners  expendables
  • Dolby Laboratories  sound mix
  • Ear Candy Post  post-production sound services
  • EarCandy  sound post-production
  • Indian Paintbrush  funding
  • Intelligent Media  international monitoring agency
  • Lakeshore Records  score album
  • Lakeshore Records  soundtrack
  • Mandate Pictures  funding
  • Movie Movers  cast trailers
  • Reel Security  Production Security


  • Alfa Films (2012) (Argentina) (theatrical)
  • Cathay-Keris Films (2012) (Singapore) (theatrical)
  • E1 Films Canada (2012) (Canada) (theatrical)
  • Forum Hungary (2012) (Hungary) (theatrical)
  • Paradiso Entertainment (2012) (Netherlands) (theatrical)
  • SND (2012) (France) (theatrical)
  • Spentzos Films (2012) (Greece) (theatrical)
  • Universal Pictures International (UPI) (2012) (Germany) (theatrical)
  • CN Entertainment (2012) (Hong Kong) (DVD)
  • CN Entertainment (2012) (Hong Kong) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
  • Dreamwest Pictures (2012) (Korea) (all media)
  • Focus Features (2012) (USA) (all media)
  • Mongkol Major (2012) (Thailand) (all media)
  • Pris Audiovisuais (2012) (Portugal) (all media)
  • Tanweer Films (2012) (India) (all media)

..{tab=Other Stuff}Visual Effects by:

  • Jason Baldari known as digital compositor
  • J. David Everhart known as visual effects producer
  • Aaron McLane known as visual effects
  • Ryan Wilmott known as visual effects
  • Matt Zell known as visual effects compositor

Release Date:

  • USA 18 June 2012 (Los Angeles Film Festival)
  • Canada 22 June 2012
  • USA 22 June 2012
  • Croatia 5 July 2012
  • Slovenia 5 July 2012
  • Israel 12 July 2012
  • Ireland 13 July 2012
  • Poland 13 July 2012
  • UK 13 July 2012
  • Russia 19 July 2012
  • Hungary 26 July 2012
  • Singapore 2 August 2012
  • France 8 August 2012
  • Greece 9 August 2012
  • Netherlands 9 August 2012
  • Iceland 10 August 2012
  • Lithuania 17 August 2012
  • Bulgaria 20 August 2012
  • Australia 23 August 2012
  • Estonia 24 August 2012
  • Brazil 31 August 2012
  • Hong Kong 6 September 2012
  • Mexico 14 September 2012
  • Turkey 14 September 2012
  • Argentina 20 September 2012
  • Germany 20 September 2012
  • Portugal 27 September 2012
  • Philippines 7 November 2012
  • Sweden 14 November 2012 (DVD premiere)
  • Finland 16 November 2012 (DVD premiere)
  • Chile 29 November 2012
  • Kuwait 29 November 2012
  • Peru 29 November 2012
  • Taiwan 30 November 2012
  • France 21 December 2012 (re-release)
  • Taiwan 21 December 2012 (re-release)
  • Italy 17 January 2013
  • Japan 18 January 2013

MPAA: Rated R for language including sexual references, some drug use and brief violence


Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

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