"Sharknado 5" offers timely commentary on Trump's Paris Climate Agreement pullout, kinda

"Sharknado" producers have decided to add some political teeth to their franchise's latest installment

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published June 1, 2017 4:52PM (EDT)

Ian Ziering as Fin Shepard "Sharknado 5" (SYFY/Justin Stephens)
Ian Ziering as Fin Shepard "Sharknado 5" (SYFY/Justin Stephens)

The SyFy channel announced today that upcoming installment in its campy, meteorological, creature-feature thriller series will be titled "Sharknado 5: Global Warming." Its tagline? "Make America bait again."

The title seems awfully topical given that President Donald Trump is removing the U.S. from the Paris Climate agreement and the world is already almost up to its neck in melted polar ice.

Obviously, this news begs the question: Will the new film connect the presence of Sharknados to the problem of global warming?Perhaps, but another outstanding query crosses the mind: Given that global warming is a scientific fact and sharknados are decisively not, do rational people even want such issues championed in this movie?

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Whatever the answers, the question fans of the series are truly asking themselves is whether the new movie resolve the longstanding love triangle between Fin, Nova and April?

On top of a tongue-in-cheek tone, the "Sharknado" series has developed quite a soap opera between its characters. After the third movie, audiences were left wondering whether protagonist Tara Reid (okay, the character's name is April Wexler, but she's basically just Tara Reid) had survived being smashed by a fragment of a space shuttle. The decision was left in the hands of the audience, who apparently voted for her to live.

When the fourth movie ended, the character Nova (Cassie Scerbo) — who started out as a potential love interest for the other protagonist, Fin Shepard (Ian Ziering) — was seen emerging from the wreckage of the Eiffel Tower, which had presumably been blown across the world. Given these developments, this may be the most emotionally fraught "Sharknado" yet.

The SyFy press release included this promising synopsis:

. . . the mission gets personal for Fin Shepard (Ian Ziering) and his bionic wife, April (Tara Reid) when their young son gets trapped in a traveling ‘nado and transported all over the world. From London to Rio, Tokyo, Rome, Amsterdam and beyond, our globetrotting heroes will seek assistance from a highly-skilled squad of royals, scholars and Olympians, enlisting famous faces from news, entertainment, and sports in their most epic battle yet.


As with other "Sharknado" films, "Global Warming" is chock full of celebrity cameos, including Fabio as the Pope, Chris Kattan as the Prime Minister of Great Britain and Charo as the Queen of England. Other guest stars include Clay Aiken, Margaret Cho, Tom Daley, Dan Fogler, Gilbert Gottfried, Tony Hawk, Greg Louganis, Bret Michaels, Olivia Newton-John and Today hosts Kathie Lee Gifford, Hoda Kotb and Al Roker.

This is not the first time the franchise has dipped its toe in political waters. Previous installments have seen Ann Coulter and former Rep. Michele Bachmann (both conservatives) in cameo roles.

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

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