The September 11 attacks
have been the subject of numerous films
and other works of art and literature
Hollywood's first reaction to the September 11 attacks was to alter, delay or even cancel films that unintentionally evoked the disaster.
- Zoolander and Serendipity digitally removed images of the World Trade Center towers.
- Men in Black 2 had to reshoot its climax, which was originally set at the World Trade Center.
- The remake of The Time Machine removed a scene in which the damaged moon fell to earth and devastated New York City.
- A trailer for Spider-Man was pulled that featured the title character catching a getaway helicopter in a web between the two towers — a sequence that was never intended to appear in the film.
- Big Trouble, Heist, Bad Company, Sidewalks of New York, and Collateral Damage all had their release dates pushed back.
- The Jackie Chan film Nosebleed, about a window washer who foils a plot to blow up the World Trade Center, was cancelled entirely.
- Most TV channels like FX, HBO and A&E Network had to pull off some movies during the week of 9/11 due the the September 11 attack. Escape From New York was going to be play on the Thursday night on HBO but they pull it off due to the the hijacked plane wreckage scene in the movie. FX also had to pull off Air Force One, Independence Day, The Siege and Die Hard with a Vengeance during the same weekend as well.
- A scene from the animated film Lilo & Stitch originally featured the main character stealing a 747 and joyriding through office and hotel towers of Honolulu; The scene was revised to show a spaceship racing through clouds and a valley. The original scene will be included on a later DVD release.
- Ocean's 11 also had to do damage control, after the cover picture showed two big 1's (11) on the floor.
- On the DVD commentary for "Day After Tomorrow," director Roland Emmerich noted that he likely would not have made the 1996 disaster film Independence Day after the 9/11 attacks. The film features an alien invasion using walls of fire to destroy cities. Somewhat ironically in the film, after New York City is devastated after the alien attacks, the World Trade Center Twin Towers were some of the only buildings left standing.
- Director Peter Jackson considered changing the name of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, which was released in 2002, but ultimately decided against it, knowing fans of the books would not be supportive.
- The video game Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty was re-edited, to remove footage of Arsenal Gear smashing through Manhattan in which there was a clearly visible World Trade Center in the sequence. Other scenes taken out included a news report of the devastation, and a scene showing the Statue of Liberty knocked down.
- The television show Sex and the City edited its opening credits to remove the World Trade Center.
- The televisions series; Law & Order (also Law & Order: Criminal Intent and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit) changes their opening credits to remove the World Trade Center footage.
- The television show The Sopranos edited its opening credits to remove the World Trade Center.
- A scene from the movie Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, featuring character Kevin McAllister looking out over New York from the top of the South Tower's observation deck is immediately followed with the words "Airport Security". This scene was edited out of cable TV showings of the film.
- The video game Syphon Filter 3 was delayed a month from its September, 2001 launch date in order to re-configure the game's advertising material due to part of its context involving terrorism and Afghanistan.
- The television show Evil Con Carne had to edit a scene from the episode The Smell of Vengeance, Part 1 because it showed Hector's stink ray hitting New York City and the World Trade Center.
- The Path to 9/11
- Much of the first season of Rescue Me deals with firefighters living in post-9/11 New York. Later season make further references to it including a flashback to that day and the crew visits Ground Zero at the end of the third season.
- Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro was recalled, as the game's climactic final battle took place on the North Tower. The game was released with the battle taking place in a new location.
Films with references to 9/11
- In the Korean revenge-drama Oldboy, footage from the attacks is used to mark the passage of time during the main character's imprisonment.
- In Final Destination 3 it is implied that there was a shadow of a plane on the towers in a picture, said to be a sign of the death that would take place. The picture was created digitally for the movie.
- John Cameron Mitchell's controversial film Shortbus contains several metaphorical references to the attacks.
- In the 2006 remake of the horror film The Omen the elders list a number of national disasters, among them the fall of the WTC, as well as Hurricane Katrina and the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake.
- In the 2006 James Bond film Casino Royale, the main villain Le Chiffre is mentioned as having shorted certain airline stocks with prior knowledge of the attacks for his own monetary gain after they had occurred. The previous Bond film, Die Another Day, does not reference the attacks directly, but opens with Bond being captured and held in North Korea for 14 months--spanning the time of the attacks. After he is released, his boss tells him "the world has changed while you were away."
- Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds is set post 9/11, and makes numerous references to the event.
- Battle Royale II: Requiem is seen as a reaction to 9/11, featuring two buildings collapsing simultaneously in Tokyo, alluding to the collapse of the World Trade Center.
- The documentary Words of My Perfect Teacher, by Leslie Ann Patten, shows images of the Trade Center collapsing as well as the public's reaction to it. Later, it shows some of the turbulent violence in the Middle East.
- In the film Jersey Girl a character mentions the play Cats as being the second worst thing to happen to New York City. The World Trade Center can also be seen early in the film placed in the early 90's.
- In the 2004 film I Heart Huckabees, Mark Wahlberg plays a firefighter who is deeply troubled after the attacks (referred to as "that big September thing").
- At the start of Love Actually, the Prime Minster (played by Hugh Grant) speaks about the nature of love and refers to the fact that all of the calls from those aboard the hijacked planes contained messages of love.
- In the film Crash, a gun salesman erroneously belittles a Persian man and his daughter by calling him "Osama" and asking if he expects Americans to "Fly jet planes into their mud-huts".
- In the 2007 film The Kingdom, the opening timeline ends with a scene of a plane flying into the World Trade Center.
- Although not directly referenced, the 2008 film Cloverfield contained a scene in which a character says, "Do you think it's another terrorist attack?!". The film also contains a scene in which a skyscraper collapses, creating a wall of dust and debris that swirls towards the cameraman, in direct reference to footage taken on 9/11.
Films about 9/11
Films specifically about the attacks, reactions and responses to them, and the post-9/11 world, include:
- Inside 9/11, a documentary from The National Geographic Society. It surveys the rise of terrorism directed at the West that culminated in 9/11. An Emmy-nominated film.
- 9/11, a documentary made from the footage taken by two French brothers, Jules and Gedeon Naudet, who were making a documentary about a rookie fireman when the attacks took place. They were one of the few people to capture the first plane hitting the towers on film. One brother followed the firemen into the stricken structures and narrowly escaped the subsequent collapse. It was released in 2002 and introduced by Robert de Niro.
- WTC: The First 24 Hours, released in February 2002, is a documentary shot by Etienne Sauret in the immediate aftermath of the attacks, showing the devastation and the initial rescue efforts. Originally an 11-minute short, later expanded to a half hour, the film includes no narration or music, and almost no dialogue.
- The Guys directed by Jim Simpson, starring his wife Sigourney Weaver and Anthony LaPaglia, based on the play by Anne Nelson (see below). According to IMDb, it débuted on September 11, 2002 at the Toronto International Film Festival, then had a limited commercial release on 2003-04-04. The plot concerns a firefighter who needs help writing eulogies for his late comrades.
- 11'9''01 September 11, in which 11 directors present 11 stories (each 11 minutes, nine seconds, and one frame long) of the event’s impact around the world, was released in September 2002. The filmmakers taking part were Iran's Samira Makhmalbaf, France's Claude Lelouch, Egypt's Youssef Chahine, Bosnia'a Danis Tanovic, Burkina Faso's Idrissa Ouedraogo, Britain's Ken Loach, Mexico's Alejandro González Iñárritu, Israel's Amos Gitai, India's Mira Nair, the U.S.'s Sean Penn and Japan's Shohei Imamura.
- Stairwell: Trapped in the World Trade Center (2002).
- Spike Lee's 25th Hour is set in post-9/11 New York, and puts Ground Zero in the background of a pivotal scene.
- Yasmin , a German-UK coproduction set in Northern England (filmed largely in and around Keighley). The eponymous character, played by Archie Panjabi, is a Muslim woman who experiences various forms of racism after 9/11. Directed by Kenneth Glenaan, the film aired on British television in 2004, and since then has been playing at film festivals around the world.
- Fahrenheit 9/11, a June 2004 film by Michael Moore that examined the Bush administration's reaction to the attacks, became the highest-grossing documentary of all time. Rather than replaying the familiar images of the burning towers, Moore evoked the disaster with images of bystanders' horrified reactions.
- The Great New Wonderful , directed by Danny Leiner, depicts the anxiety of post-9/11 New York City. Premiered at the TriBeCa Film Festival in April 2005.
- World Trade Center, a film by Oliver Stone, released in August 2006, tells the story of two Port Authority police officers, John McLoughlin (played by Nicolas Cage) and Will Jimeno (played by Michael Peña), who were some of the last rescue workers pulled from Ground Zero alive.
- Fernando Zamora, a Mexican film student at Columbia University School of the Arts, managed to get into Ground Zero on September 11 2001 and made two short films in homage to the victims. The films, Steps and Dust, were aired on NBC and ABC networks on September 12th and 13th respectively.
- United 93, a 2006 film about the fourth hijacked plane and the terrorists' failure to use it as a missile when passengers attacked the terrorists. Flight 93 and The Flight that Fought Back are TV movies also about the fourth hijacked plane.
- Reign Over Me, a film starring Adam Sandler and Don Cheadle follows a man (Sandler) who lost his family in the 9/11 attacks, and the old friendship that starts up again between himself and an old college buddy (Cheadle).
- The Hamburg Cell, a 2004 docudrama about the planning of the attacks.
- Tiger Cruise, a Disney Channel Original Movie with its fictional events intertwined with the attacks.
- The End of the Whole Mess, an adaptation of the Stephen King short story of the same name which was featured in the miniseries, Nightmares and Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King, shows how the attacks act as a catalyst for one of the central character's wanting to rid the world of emotional anger.
- WTC View, in which a gay New Yorker, Eric, advertises for a roommate for his WTC view apartment just before the attack. In the subsequent weeks many people respond, and Eric learns from them how the attack and aftermath affected their lives, forcing him to confront his own experience as well.
- The Guys, a play by Anne Nelson, explores the memories and emotions of a surviving fire captain and a writer who helps him write eulogies for his lost comrades. The play was first performed on December 4 2001.
- Neil LaBute's play The Mercy Seat opened in New York a little more than a year after The Guys, on December 18, 2002. The play, whose protagonist considers faking his death after having coincidentally survived the attacks, took a far darker look at the attacks than New Yorkers were accustomed to, but was nevertheless a commercial and critical success.
- Adopt a Sailor by Charles Evered, opened in New York City on the one year anniversary of the attacks, premiering at Town Hall. It was one of several short plays that premiered in an evening called "Brave New World" and depicted a New York City couple hosting a sailor for dinner during Fleet Week and the ramifications of the attack on their relationship one year later. Play starred Bebe Neuwirth, Amy Irving, Sam Waterston, Liev Schreiber, Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson in a rotating cast and has subsequently been produced as a feature film starring Neuwirth, Peter Coyote and Ethan Peck, directed by playwright Evered and set to be released in fall of 2008.
- Recent Tragic Events by Craig Wright takes place on September 12, 2001, and deals with a blind date between a man and a woman who is trying to reach her sister, who lives in New York. It opened in Washington, D.C. in 2002.
- "In Spirit", a Hugo-nominated science fiction novella by Pat Forde, published in Analog Science Fiction in September 2002. A form of "spiritual" time travel is perfected in the middle of the 21st century and the aged children of 9/11 victims are given the opportunity to go back in time and be with their loved ones "in spirit" in their final moments. The tale is told from the point of view of a terrorist who abetted the hijackers on the ground and is 30-odd years into a life sentence when he's offered the chance to volunteer as an experimental subject.
- Only Partly Here by Lucius Shepard is a novella in the magical realism genre. It follows a rescue worker sifting through the wreckage of the attacks.
- Pattern Recognition (2003) by William Gibson was the first novel to address the attacks; the main character is a marketing consultant whose father disappeared in Manhattan on the morning of September 11.
- Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, a 2005 novel by Jonathan Safran Foer, follows the narrator, 9-year-old Oskar Schell, whose father was on the upper floors of the World Trade Center when the jets crashed into the Twin Towers. To fight his grief and quell his imagination, Oskar embarks on a quest to find what he hopes is his father's most illuminating secret. In service of this quest, Oskar conquers many of his irrational fears and comforts other damaged souls.
- Big Apple 2 Bites by Arunabha Sengupta is a novel about the experiences of an Indian engineer on business assignments to New York once on either side of 9/11. It deals with the slowdown during the days leading up to the September 11 attacks and the ripples of the attacks across the globe in many countries and varied facets of life.
- David Llewellyn's novel Eleven takes place in Cardiff and London on September 11th and deals with the impact the terrorist attacks have on the lives of people in the UK.
- Dutch author and New York resident Arnon Grunberg's novel Tirza deals with a man who loses his fortune when his hedge fund collapses after the 9/11 attacks. He goes mad when his daughter starts going out with evil itself: a man resembling Mohammed Atta.
- Windows on the World, a 2003 novel by Frédéric Beigbeder, is set in the restaurant at the top of the North Tower on September 11. It tells the story of Carthew Yorston and his two sons as they try to escape or somehow survive the attack. Each chapter of the book represents one minute in time between 8:30 and 10:30 on 9/11. It also features a parallel narrative wherein the author, a French writer sympathetic to America, discusses the process of writing the book and his motivations for doing so.
- Dead Air, a novel by British novelist Iain Banks, published in 2002. An early chapter is set in London on September 11 2001. The main protagonist is a left-wing radio "shock jock" attending a wedding when news of the attacks filters through (Tuesday afternoon British time).
- Richard Howard's poem "Fallacies of Wonder" deals with the difficult task of trying to remember the Twin Towers as they actually were now that they are gone.
- Ian McEwan's novel Saturday takes place in London after the September 11th attacks but before the 7 July 2005 London bombings. The novel shows how much the world has changed since the attacks in America.
- Jeffrey Archer's novel False Impression is a thriller that takes place during and immediately after 9/11.
- Don DeLillo's novel Falling Man features a protagonist who survives the attacks on the World Trade Center.
- Dana Standridge's 2006 novel "Lessons in Essence" includes a chapter in which a group of Taiwanese people watch the 9/11 events as they unfold on Japanese television news. Among them is the main character, Teacher Li, who has family living in New York and who cannot understand the Japanese broadcast. The scene gives a convex view of the terrorist attacks on America and the way they were felt outside the U.S..
- Seamus Heaney's poem, 'Anything Can Happen', a loose translation of Horace's Ode 1.34 is a response to the attacks.
- Ben Lerner's poem 'Didactic Elegy' deals with the attack using the language of art criticism
- Claire Messud's novel 'The Emperor's Children' traces the lives of three NYC friends before and after the events of 9/11.
- Tom Robbins novel Villa Incognito features several scenes of Military and CIA officials reacting to news of the attacks.
- Jay McInerney's 2006 novel The Good Life takes place immediately before, during, and after the events of 9/11.
- Nelson DeMille's 2004 novel Night Fall connects TWA 800 to twin tower crash.
- Stephen King's sixth Dark Tower novel, Song of Susannah, makes a reference to the attack, when the characters place an artifact known as Black Thirteen in a coin-op storage in the World Trade Center. After leaving, Jake and Callahan half-jokingly discuss what would happen if the towers were to collapse on the object.
- Arthur Nersesian's novel Unlubricated has several scenes devoted to a character witnessing the attacks and the ensuing confusion. One of the themes of the novel is about her overcoming the things that she saw and heard that morning.
- The protagonist in Philip Roth's Everyman moves to the New Jersey shore as a result of the fear he feels in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.
- Turki al-Hamad Saudi novelist wrote - Heaven's Wind
- * Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 2) #36, called the Black Issue for its solid black cover, explores how Spider-Man and other Marvel characters like Captain America, Daredevil, Magneto, and Dr. Doom react in the aftermath of the attacks.
- * Marvel also produced a book, Heroes, featuring pin-ups by various artists, many of which were oriented toward appreciation and admiration of emergency rescue workers, and patriotism. The cover was illustrated by Alex Ross, and the back cover, which showed a firefighter covered in ash, was illustrated by Marvel Editor-In-Chief Joe Quesada (whose personal affection for firefighters had been long-established with his own creator-owned superhero, Ash), Todd McFarlane and Richard Isanove, and featured a poem by writer/director Kevin Smith.
- * Marvel also produced an anthology book, A Moment of Silence, featuring several stories, without dialogue or captions, based on the attacks. One of them focused on a real-life relative of a Marvel Comics employee, an engineer killed after deciding to enter one of the Towers to search for survivors. Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada illustrated the cover.
- * A new Marvel series, The Call of Duty (about firefighters) was also produced, which focused on firefighters.
- DC Comics produced two large books coordinated with Dark Horse Comics, Chaos! Comics, and Image Comics, 9-11: September 11 2001, Volumes 1 & 2, which featured short stories and single-page works of art from a wide variety of artists.
- Alternative Comics produced 9-11 Emergency Relief, a similar collection of works with a cover by Frank Cho.
- Brian K. Vaughan's Ex Machina, published by Wildstorm/DC, is set in a world in which a superhero called the Great Machine becomes mayor of New York after intervening in the September 11 attacks — managing to save only the South Tower, and later describing himself as a failure, because a real hero would have been in time to stop the first plane.
- Garth Ennis's The Boys showed three of the four hijacked planes being shot down by the Air Force, and the fourth being intercepted by superheroes; that plane subsequently crashed on the Brooklyn Bridge, destroying it and killing over a thousand people.
- Ben Dunn's Heaven Sent prologue oppening, leads up to depicting a character dying in the destruction of the North Tower. While the majority of the storyline revolves round siblings who lose a parent in the destruction of the twin towers
- Toby Kieth wrote a song in the following days after September 11th called the
- Missy Elliott Mentions the World Trade Center families in her intro for her "Under Construction" album. In her following album "This Is Not A Test" She once again references 9/11 by saying "And anyone we've lost in life from 9-11/ We'll be sure to see again".
- The collapse of the World Trade Center is shown in the video for Linkin Park's song "What I've Done".
- Jadakiss says "Bush knocked down the towers" in his song "Why?"
- Cam'Ron has a song mentioning the two towers in his song "Welcome to New York City" featuring Jay-Z and Juelz Santana.
- Talib Kweli's "The Proud" is a tribute to those who are affected by 9/11, among other tragic events.
- In Tupac Shakur's song "Dumpin'," guest rapper Hussein Fatal says "When they put the twin towers up, Pac, I'm knockin' em back down." (It should be noted that Tupac Shakur died in 1996.)
- The network Clear Channel Communications, first radio stations owner in United States, compiled a list of songs with questionable lyrics for a short time after the attack The list included songs previously aired who featured or suggested anything related with war, attacks, airplanes, travels, United States, fear, utopia, future, New York or tragedy. Also banned were songs such as "What a Wonderful World" and "Walk Like an Egyptian."
- In John Mayer's song "Covered in Rain" (the sequel to the song "City Love"), the couple described in "City Love" who got together in the city, experience the September 11 attacks and end their relationship. The song ends with "And now I’m standing facing west/Tracing my fingers round a silhouette/I haven’t gotten used to yet/But it’s the brightest thing I’ve got." The silhouette referred to is the gap where the World Trade Centre towers were.
- The song Tell Me Why by Will Smith featuring Mary J Blige focuses heavily on the attacks and their aftermath.
- Dream Theater wrote a song about the 9/11 attacks on their 2005 album, Octavarium, called "Sacrificed Sons".
- American composer John Coolidge Adams won the Pulitzer Prize and a Grammy Award for "On the Transmigration of Souls", a choral work written in response to the attacks.
- Bruce Springsteen's 2002 album The Rising focused almost entirely on the disaster, and was widely hailed as one of Springsteen's most profound works.
- Blue Man Group's song and video "Exhibit 13" depicts charred scraps of paper that blew into a Brooklyn neighborhood from Manhattan.
- Several songs on Bon Jovi's 2002 album Bounce were inspired by the attacks and its aftermath: "Undivided", "Everyday", "Bounce", and "Love Me Back to Life".
- Paul McCartney wrote "Freedom" in response to the attacks and the wave of patriotism following them. He first performed it at the star-studded The Concert for New York City.
- The American Heavy metal band Testament wrote a song titled, "The Evil has Landed" which is entirely about the September 11th attacks, and the devastation that occurred. The song is off their album The Formation of Damnation
- Tom Paxton wrote the song "The Bravest" about the firefighters who gave their lives while trying to save others on September 11, 2001. Tom also wrote a number of topical protest songs that were critical of the Bush administration's reaction and the wars that followed. For example, the song "Homeland Security" lampooned exaggerated terror threats, and in 2007, Tom rewrote a song of his from 1965 entitled "Lyndon Johnson Told The Nation", about the escalation of the war in Vietnam, and made it into "George W. Told The Nation", about the surge in the Iraq war.
- Country singer Toby Keith wrote several songs in response to the attacks and its aftermath: "Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue", "The Taliban Song", and "American Soldier", dedicated to U.S. troops.
- David Bowie's Reality album (2003) is said to be his own personal reflection of the post 9/11 world. The track "New Killer Star" makes references to "the great white scar over Battery Park" and a new superficial understanding of religion ("Jesus on Dateline")
- The Post-Hardcore band Scary Kids Scaring Kids song The City Sleeps In Flames from the album of the same name is about the 9/11 attacks, and a fictional story about someone caught in them.
- Ani DiFranco's song/poem "Self Evident" is about 9/11 and the US reaction.
- "Makeshift Patriot" by Sage Francis is a hip-hop song that cynically looks at the post-9/11 world, particularly the threats he perceives to civil rights.
- Carl Schroeder, a young Midwestern composer, wrote " Christine's Lullaby: An Elegy for Orchestra" in honor of Christine Hanson, the youngest victim of the 9/11 attacks.
- French songwriter Renaud wrote a song called " Manhattan Kaboul" that describes in parallel the deaths of a Puerto Rican immigrant in the World Trade Center and of a little Afghan girl under U.S. bombings.
- Italian band PGR wrote a song entitled "11 Settembre 2001"
- Radiohead's 2003 album Hail to the Thief reflected on a post-9/11 world.
- The band dc Talk reunited to record the song "Let's Roll", which was written to honor the heroes of Flight 93.
- The band Skillet's song "You Are My Hope" from their Alien Youth CD was re-released with sound clips of President Bush's Speech given on September 12th, about the attacks, heard in between verses of the song.
- Eminem made several references to the attacks, beginning with The Eminem Show, released in Spring 2002. His songs "White America", "Square Dance", "My Dad Gone Crazy", and "Mosh" have tackled his — and America's — place in a post-9/11 world. Eminem dresses as Osama Bin Laden in the video clip for "Without Me".
- Tori Amos's 2002 album Scarlet's Walk included two songs ("I Can't See New York" and "Mrs. Jesus"), which are widely believed to explore the 9/11 attacks and the immediate aftermath, although "I can't see New York" was written before the event occurred (see below, Strange coincidences in music).
- Leonard Cohen's song about September 11, "On That Day", appears on his 2004 album Dear Heather.
- Alan Jackson's song "Where Were You (When the World Stop Turning)" asks a series of questions about the listener's location when he or she heard the news of the attacks.
- Anti-Flag, a punk band from Pittsburgh, wrote "911 For Peace" on the day of the attacks, and have since released "Terror State" and "For Blood and Empire".
- Leftöver Crack, a NYC Ska punk band coincidentally released their debut, Mediocre Generica on the day of the attacks. They referenced this with their second album, Fuck World Trade, whose cover depicts the towers ablaze with Rudy Giuliani, Dick Cheney and George W. Bush celebrating. The first song on the album, "Clear Channel (Fuck Off!)", features a spoken word intro that introduces them as "the same bitches that brought you the tower-tumbling Mediocre Generica on 9/11/01..."
- The Beastie Boys' album To The 5 Boroughs, released in 2004, focuses on life in post-9/11 New York.
- William Basinski was playing back and digitally transferring some old ambient loop tapes that disintegrated when the planes crashed into the World Trade Center in view of his Brooklyn apartment. The altered transfers were later released as The Disintegration Loops.
- Washington band Death Cab for Cutie recorded a song called "20th Century Towers" which deals with the feeling of loss and regret suffered after the 9/11 attacks.
- The 2001 Wu-Tang Clan album Iron Flag was released less than three months after 9/11; the track "Rules" opens with a Ghostface Killah verse about the attacks.
- Neil Young's "Let's Roll" is about Flight 93, referencing the order to storm the terrorist-controlled cockpit before the plane's crash in Pennsylvania.
- Mark Scudder's 2004 album Don't Wait was inspired by the events of September 11th and dedicated to a friend he lost in the World Trade Center.
- Gerard Way wrote the song "Skylines and Turnstiles" after he saw the September 11 attacks occur and was then prompted to form his band My Chemical Romance.
- Yellowcard recorded a song on their album Ocean Avenue called Believe that features excerpts of news reports and has lines speaking of the police and fire fighters who went into the towers, as well as thanking them for their bravery in the face of danger.
- Dutch band Epica has a song on their album The Phantom Agony called Façade of Reality that is about September 11th. The song contains fragments of a speech by Tony Blair about the terrorist attacks.
- Hip-Hop artist Will Smith has a track on Lost and Found about the attacks.
- Box Car Racer's song "Elevator" off their only album was written in response to the attacks. The song describes one man jumping off a building as it collapses in an attempt to commit suicide and a man on the ground witnessing the whole event.
- D12 and Gorillaz collaborated on the track 911, which also featured Terry Hall, in response to the attacks. The song was featured on the soundtrack for the film Bad Company.
- Pop-punk band blink-182 originally started shooting the video for Stay Together for the Kids on September 10 2001. The next day when they went to finish the video, the 9-11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City occurred, and both the band and director Samuel Bayer opted to re-shoot the video, as they felt the images of the house coming down were too similar to the images of the attacks in New York.
- The Rakes' 2005 track Terror comments on public paranoia post-9/11, including the lyrics "Every plane is a missile, every suitcase a bomb."
- Jimmy Eat World renamed their album from Bleed American to "Jimmy Eat World" after the attacks. The album's title track was renamed "Salt Sweat Sugar".
- The song If This Is Goodbye, from the 2006 album All the Roadrunning by Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris, was inspired by the telephone calls from United Airlines Flight 93.
- Bands like Good Charlotte, Mest and Goldfinger collaborated on a song called "The Innocent" which they wrote about the attacks.
- Metal band Iced Earth released a single from their album "The Glorious Burden" called "When the Eagle Cries", which is about the aftermath of 9/11. Part of the video was shot in Ground Zero. An "unplugged" version is on the special edition.
- Country music singer Darryl Worley recorded "Have You Forgotten?", a response to anti-war sentiment in the U.S.
- Rap artist P. Diddy says, "We still here!!! And we buildin four more new towers!!!!" in the "Welcome to New York" portion of "Welcome To Atlanta (Remix)" by Jermaine Dupri.
- Country music singer-songwriter Dusty Drake recorded "One Last Time", a song inspired by the last phone calls from Flight 93.
- "New New York" by The Cranberries is a reaction to the events of 9/11.
- A short scene of the attacks was featured in the music video of "What I've Done" by Linkin Park
- "The Hands That Built America" by U2 contains a reference to 9/11. "It's early fall, there's a cloud on the New York skyline/Innocence, dragged across a yellow line." The music video contains a shot of the pre-9/11 skyline.
- The title track to Worlds Apart by …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead refers to the attacks and their effect on foreign policy: "How they laugh as we shovel the ashes / Of the twin towers. / Blood and death, we will pay back the debt / Of this candy store of ours."
- Autopilot Off, a rock band from Orange County, New York, released Make a Sound in April 2004. The album covers multiple views of the events of 9/11, most notably in the songs "The 12th Day" and "Voice in the Dark." "The 12th Day" in particular, offers an optimistic view of America recovering stronger and more unified as a result of the attacks.
- The 2004 single Empty Souls by Manic Street Preachers contains a lyrical reference to the twin towers.
- UFK's song "On This Day" from their 2005 demo State of the Union looks back on the day of 9/11 and the aftermath of the attacks.
- After the attacks, The Strokes 2001 album Is This It was released later in America than the UK partially due to replacing the track New York City Cops due to the line New York City Cops, they ain't too smart.
- The song "I Promise" by Jin contains a reference to 9/11. "We promise to never forget the innocent lives / The victims of 9/11 / The children, husbands, and wives / The soldiers that died / That should of survived / To all the mothers that lost one we hear your cries / The government lies / That's written in the skies / I know it all you got to do is look into their eyes / Call the gardener and tell them its lights out / And promise to never have no bushes by the Whitehouse"
- Backstreet Boy, Brian Littrell performs the song "Gone without Goodbye" in which he expresses his sympathy for the families of the victims of the 9/11 attacks. It was released on his first solo album Welcome Home in May 2006.
- Peroxwhy?gen's "September Day" is based on the attacks.
- In 2002 Canadian musician FOWL wrote Plan For A New American Century, outlining a small part of the motive behind President Bush's involvement in 9/11.
- Slayer's song Jihad is a song about the 9/11 attacks from the terrorists' point of view. Towards the end of the song Mohammed Atta's message before his death is read out. It is one of the singles off their ninth studio album Christ Illusion, which itself is loosely based on the War on Terror.
- The music video for Empty Walls from Serj Tankian's album Elect the Dead depicts the collapse of the World Trade Center with a boy throwing a toy airplane into two towers made of blocks.
- Amy Lee from Evanescence said in an interview that the band's song My Last Breath from their debut album Fallen was inspired by the 9/11 attacks. Also, the song The Only One from the second CD The Open Door was rumoured to be about the conspiracy and propaganda of 9/11, but was declared not true after release of the album.
- Gackt's song 12gatsu no Love Song was written in memory of the lives lost on 9/11. Its music video is also filmed in New York, depicting the New Yorkers love for their city, memorials, and inhabitants holding drawing and signs promoting peace, love, and unity in different languages. It also follows the fictional story of a man who lost his wife in the attacks.
- Melissa Etheridge, a noted lesbian singer/songwriter, wrote the song "Tuesday Morning" in response to 9/11. The song is about a gay male on Flight 93 who decides to fight back, and the debate that his homosexuality makes him no less of a hero than the other passengers that resisted.
Strange Coincidences In Music
There are many strange coincidence in pop music that seem to be prophetic or foretelling of the attacks. Numerous bands and musicians had release albums before the attacks that seems to hint at or allude to the September 11th attacks.
- Don Henley: the frontman of The Eagles had written "New York Minute" (originally for his album The End of the Innocence) in 1989, yet it contains lyrics that are eerily prescient of the attacks of September 11 that many people mistakenly believe that the song was written after they occurred, with such lyrics as "They found his clothing/Scattered somewhere down the track/And he won't be down on Wall Street/in the morning" and "One day they're here/Next day they're gone". The song was re-recorded for the Eagles' reunion album Hell Freezes Over in 1994.
- Explosions In The Sky: They garnered a small amount of media attention with their second album, Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Live Forever, due to rumors linking it to the September 11, 2001 attacks. The band denied any connection in interviews. The album art shows an airplane with the caption "This plane will crash tomorrow." There were false reports that the last track was called "This Plane Will Crash Tomorrow" and that the album was released on September 10, 2001; the concept had actually originated in 2000, and the album was released on August 27, 2001. Bassist Michael James was detained in an airport as a threat to security, and had to explain why his guitar contained the words "this plane will crash tomorrow".
- I Am the World Trade Center: After the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, I Am the World Trade Center faced some media attention by critics who assumed that the band was capitalizing on the attacks. (The 11th track on their first album is called "September.") They toured briefly under the shortened name "I Am the World...", but soon resumed playing under their original name.
- Squad Five-O: Their 2000 album Bombs Over Broadway was produced by Duane Baron. The original cover art of Bombs Over Broadway showed warplanes flying through downtown New York. The album's title track described an attack on New York City and warned that other cities would also be attacked. Bombs Over Broadway also contained a card explaining the lyrics to the songs; Tooth & Nail did the same with The Deadlines' first album, The Death & Life Of..., which used death-related metaphors in most of its songs. After the September 11, 2001, attacks, occurred the following year, Tooth & Nail decided to change the album's cover to show a picture of the band members. The new release of the album still had the same songs as the original album had. Some lyrical content also seemed to be bizarrely foreshadowing, especially the title track "Bombs over Broadway"
- The Dingees: The Dingees were a southern California ska-punk outfit known for the high production quality and aggressive punk attitude, not normal the Christian music scene. Their album The Crucial Conspiracy had a few seemingly prophetic references to 9/11. The image is a 747 being shot out of the sky and destruction coming out of the sky
- Dream Theater released a three-disc live album titled Live Scenes from New York on September 11 2001, which originally featured artwork depicting the New York City skyline and the World Trade Center in flames. The album was immediately recalled and reissued with new artwork a short time later.
- Slayer's album God Hates Us All was ironically released on the day of the attacks.
- The Coup's album, Party Music originally had a cover showing the two members in front of the World Trade Center "detonating" the towers. This cover was created in June 2001 and the CD was supposed to be released in September. After the attacks, they delayed the album to November for time to create another CD cover.
- The Moldy Peaches' released their self-titled album on September 11th, 2001, and it features the song "NYC's Like a Graveyard."
- Tori Amos' album Scarlet's Walk is a concept album about a woman named Scarlet taking a journey across the USA. In the song "I Can't See New York" (track 12 of 18) Scarlet sees a terrorist attack involving the hijacking of a plane which is then crashed in New York City. Although that song was written in the spring of 2001, it is widely believed to be about 9/11.
- System of a Down released their sophomore album Toxicity one week before the attacks which featured a song titled "Jet Pilot" which makes reference to kamikaze attacks.
- The pilot episode of The Lone Gunmen presaged the attacks on the WTC. The plot dealt with a plane hijacked by the US government using remote control to fly it into the World Trade Center. The eerily prescient episode aired on 4 March 2001.
- The drama series The West Wing was one of the first television productions to respond to 9/11, airing a special episode, "Isaac and Ishmael", a few weeks later, ahead of its planned season three premiere. The lead characters discuss terrorism with a party of schoolchildren. It was written and filmed within two weeks of the attacks, which are not referenced directly.
- Third Watch — a drama series about New York City police officers, firefighters and paramedics — aired a special documentary episode a few weeks after the attacks in which real-life firefighters and police discussed 9/11. In the ensuing seasons, a number of episodes were devoted to the aftermath of the attacks and its effect on the characters.
- During the first two seasons of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, the opening credits featured scenes of the Manhattan skyline which included the World Trade Center. During the third season, the pictures were replaced with different ones, without the Twin Towers.
- The military-themed series JAG was forced to retool its storylines to reflect the War on Terrorism and subsequent invasion of Afghanistan; one ongoing character loses a leg as a result of this storyline.
- The spy drama Alias debuted a few weeks after 9/11. An early episode includes a reference to the Department of Homeland Security, although references to 9/11 are not directly made initially.
- The 2003-2004 season of the science fiction series Star Trek: Enterprise was a War on Terrorism-based story arc that began with a devastating attack on Earth by an alien probe, an event inspired by 9/11. The 2004 episode "Storm Front, Part II" includes an image of the burning World Trade Center as part of a tableau of history.
- In the action series 24, scenes from the first episode of the first season, in which an airliner is destroyed by a terrorist, were edited to be more palatable soon after the 9/11 attacks.
- On October 11, 2006, the Comedy Central series South Park showed its then-newest episode, "Mystery of the Urinal Deuce". In the episode, Cartman does a slideshow for show-and-tell that blames Kyle for 9/11, using rather inane numerology involving the score Kyle got on a test on the day of 9/11. Stan helps Kyle shed the blame. It deals with the 9/11 conspiracies. The character Butters is also revealed to have his birthday on September 11. Having a birthday the same date as a national time of crisis (as of 2001) is one of the many misfortunes Butters has to deal with. In another episode, when the boys try to build a ladder to Heaven to speak to the deceased Kenny (only because they think he knows the whereabouts of a lost candy raffle ticket), Alan Jackson shows up and promotes his new song based on his post-9/11 song "Where Were You (When the World Stop Turning)".
- The FX Show Rescue Me, a show about firefighters in New York, regularly references 9/11, including how the main character's cousin and several co-workers died in the attacks.
- An episode of Spider-Man: The Animated Series was edited due to a scene where a helicopter crashes into one of the Twin Towers.
- Friends episode "The One Where Rachel Tells Ross" was to contain a scene at the airport as Monica Geller and Chandler Bing go through the security checkpoint. Chandler makes light of a sign that reads, "No joking about bombs" and suggests that it should read, "No bombs." The two are then held at the airport as their baggage is being inspected. The original scene can be seen on the eighth season DVD extras.
- During episodes of Friends following the attacks, Chandler's magnetic drawing board had a rough sketch of the attacks on the towers.
- WWE SmackDown! on September 13 was dedicated to the 9-11 attacks. It started with Vince McMahon giving a very patriotic and heartfelt intro speech. Throughout the show, several superstars voiced their reactions to the attack.
- It was revealed in CSI: NY that Mac Taylor's wife Claire also died on the 9-11 attack.
- In Brothers & Sisters, the character Kitty returns home in California to live with her family after 9/11/2001.
- In the unaired pilot of Heroes, it features a subplot with a terrorist known as the engineer with radioactive powers. On September 10, 2001, he fell in love with an American girl and did not go through the 9/11 attacks with the others. Elements of this character were used in the new character, Ted Sprague.
- On several occasions, television series featuring plotlines involving time travel or loss of memory have used as a dramatic plot element characters learning about the events of 9/11 and their reactions. Two examples of this are "Hiatus Part 1", an episode of NCIS in which an amnesiac Leroy Jethro Gibbs temporarily loses more than a decade of his memories and is told of the attacks by a colleague, and "Gnothi Seauton", the second episode of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles in which Sarah Connor, having been transported through time from 1999 to 2007, is told about the attacks and likens them to the apocalypse she's trying to prevent.
- In 2007, All My Children introduces the character Dre Woods (Sterling Sulieman), a teenage musician whose mother died when the South Tower of the WTC collapsed. In dealing with his grief, he became estranged from his father Samuel Woods (Mario Van Peebles), who is introduced in early 2008.
In the computer game Deus Ex
(first released in June 2000), the first game mission, set in Liberty Island
, shows the New York City skyline missing the two World Trade Center buildings. This design decision (due to texture memory limitations) was explained by the developers during development as being the result of a terrorist attack that took place earlier in the game's storyline.
Starbucks took down a promotional poster due to its resemblance to the Twin Towers and portrayal of a dragonfly swooping into the drinks.
Microsoft removed renderings of the Twin Towers from their popular Microsoft Flight Simulator software after rumors arose that the hijackers had used copies of the program for training purposes.
The video game Urban Strike, released in 1994, has a cut scene where the villain shoots a laser beam at the World Trade Center. The game's setting takes place in the year 2001.
In the Digimon Drama CD track "Video Mail", Mimi was in New York City when the buildings were destroyed while searching for the American Chosen Children. She and the children helped to find survivors, but had to leave to keep the Digimon from being discovered.
Tourist Guy consisted of a widely spread faked photograph of a tourist who happened to be posing for a picture on the top of one tower while an incoming plane is seen in the background.
List of fictional works dealing with 9/11