Anyone who's watched disaster movies set in Los Angeles knows that this is pretty much a fact of life: Seeing one of the most iconic landmark signs in America on film is great, but watching the Hollywood Sign get destroyed in disaster movies is always better. So good news: If you haven't seen the Hollywood Sign get blasted to smithereens on the big screen in a while, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has you covered, because he and Paul Giamatti (yes, you read that right) are coming your way on May 29 with San Andreas. It's billed as a "thrilling, heart-pounding ride," as per The Rock — and I trust him, of course, because he's The Rock.
So what's it about? As the title suggests, it focuses on the San Andreas fault, which runs through much of California and poses the most risk to Southern California in terms of earthquake severity. So, you know, it makes sense that much of Los Angeles is destroyed in San Andreas, from a geological standpoint — also, it's just always fun to see things blow up and crumble on the big screen, especially when those "things" include legendary landmarks that people around the world can recognize with a single glance.
Destruction of Los Angeles, in particular, is a favorite of action and disaster films — San Andreas included. But before you rush to see The Rock and Giamatti kick some major earthquake butt in that film (or after you see it — either way!), check out some other legendary scenes where the Hollywood sign has met its end on film.
Terminator: Salvation (2009)
Say what you want about Terminator: Salvation, but the moment that the Hollywood sign was destroyed in this movie goes down in film history as a spectacular display of CGI.
This film is truly a masterpiece for many reasons, but this is probably the biggest. Per HollywoodSign.org, "The tornado blows the letters of the Sign away. One of them crushes an aspiring actor just after he says, 'My mother always told me Hollywood would kill me.'" SERIOUSLY, where were Sharknado's Oscars?
BoJack Horseman (2014)
BoJack Horseman is my second-favorite Will Arnett–portrayed character, after G.O.B. Bluth — if you haven't checked out BoJack Horseman on Netflix, do yourself a favor and watch it all right now, if only for this: In one episode, BoJack uses a helicopter to steal the 'D' from the Hollywood Sign.
The Day After Tomorrow (2004)
In which Jake Gyllenhaal tries to stay calm while everything goes up in flames, including the old Hollywood Sign, while he talks on the phone with dad, Dennis Quaid.
Why exactly WAS the "Land" expunged from the formerly "Hollywoodland" Hollywood sign? 1941 offers some possible explanations, including a pilot named Kelso (portrayed by John Belushi) who shot it down.
So I guess we can't really blame The Rock. At this point, knocking down those helpless, flimsy letters is kind of a Hollywood rite of passage.
Images: Giphy (2); Netflix; Universal Pictures