Dennis Quaid and Jake Gyllenhaal's upcoming movie The Day After Tomorrow has become the unlikely inspiration for a heated political debate in America.

Environmentalists have embraced the film as a warning about the perils of greenhouse gas emissions and President George W Bush's administration is trying its best to avoid a backlash on its ecological policies.

A rally featuring former Vice-President and environmental advocate Al Gore will be held close to the movie's 24 May (04) premiere in New York and hosted by MOVEON.ORG.

Producer MARK GORDON says, "If they want to use our picture to make people aware of their concerns about the environment, it's not anything I have control over.

"My biggest issue is that the movie opens to the biggest number we can. The fact that there is enthusiasm, controversy and discussion is only good for our business."

The movie follows the onset of a new Ice Age just three days after the polar ice caps melt.

Gore says, "The Day After Tomorrow presents us with a great opportunity to talk about the scientific realities of climate change. Millions of people will be coming out of theatres on Memorial Day weekend asking the question, 'Could this really happen? I think we need to answer that question."

The NEW YORK TIMES also recently reported that NASA ordered its scientists last month (MAR04) not to speak about the movie because of fears it could politically injure Bush. The space agency has since relaxed the ban.

Moveon.org will be urging film fans to go to a website for information and to email Bush and CONGRESS in support of legislation that would reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.

29/04/2004 02:32