Director Roland Emmerich was born in Germany, but for the last 17 years he's had his sight (and sights) set on the White House.
"I always jokingly say that they should put a plaque somewhere in one of the rooms," Emmerich told HuffPost Entertainment. "Or my portrait: 'The man who destroyed the White House the most.'"
Emmerich indeed has experience causing carnage on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. In 1996, he let aliens blow up the White House in "Independence Day"; 13 years later, Emmerich used a tsunami and the U.S.S. John F. Kennedy to destroy the executive mansion of the United States in the disaster blockbuster "2012"; and this summer, Emmerich directs the film "White House Down," which finds Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx teaming up to prevent the domestic enemies from toppling the presidency. The first "White House Down" trailer premieres exclusively on HuffPost Entertainment; watch it above.
"'White House Down' was a script that had so many elements that, for a director, were great," said Emmerich, who was born in Stuttgart in 1955. "It has a lot of humor, a lot of great characters, and -- at the center -- this relationship between an ex-soldier who wants to become a Secret Service agent but gets denied, and the President of the United States," the roles played, respectively, by Tatum and Foxx.
"It's not only about taking over the White House; it's actually doing a coup d'état. It's like 'Seven Days In May,' which I always felt was a movie I want to do," Emmerich said. "I really believe that, as Lincoln said, the only way that America can destroy itself is from within."
To create the White House for "White House Down," Emmerich said he and production designer Kirk M. Petruccelli ("The Patriot") took a few public tours of the facility and relied on some help from Emmerich's memory; the director said President Bill Clinton had invited him over to screen "Independence Day." The result was a near replica of the famed residence, which Emmerich said was about 60 percent the size of the original. Even the ceilings were reconstructed for "White House Down," a detail that Emmerich felt was key because of his desire to use wide-angle lenses to capture the action. As the director noted, however, the interior of the White House is redecorated by each new president, giving Emmerich and his team the option of dramatic license.
"We altered some stuff that I felt was not good-looking enough," Emmerich said. "Some of the kitchen and the residence. It's atrocious! There's a big kitchen fight [in the script] and I said, 'I would not like to see a fight in that kitchen.'"
Added the director: "Jamie Foxx has much better taste than Obama."
Watch the "White House Down" trailer above; the film, which also stars Jason Clarke, Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Woods, is out on June 28.
EARLIER: Check out these three "White House Down" teaser images.