Roland Emmerich films tend to take on the form of either science-fiction adventures (Stargate), disaster movies (The Day After Tomorrow), or sci-fi/disaster films (Independence Day) – with the occasional exception, such as the historical conspiracy drama Anonymous or the buddy action/thriller, White House Down. The filmmaker has never been a critical darling for his big-budget, spectacle-driven, offerings (or any of his movies he’s made over the past twenty years), but Emmerich’s end-of-the-world thrill rides have nonetheless continued to do big business at the international box office.
Emmerich’s potential future projects include a third installment in the Independence Day franchise – as the followup to the newly-released Independence Day: Resurgence – in addition to a big screen reboot of the Stargate movie series. However, before either of those films moves forward, it appears as though Emmerich will be doing what he does best: making another (most likely big-budgeted) original sci-fi/disaster movie.
Deadline is reporting that Universal Pictures has acquired Moonfall – a spec script written by Emmerich and Harald Kloser (Emmerich’s co-writer on 2012 and 10,000 BC, as well as a longtime composer for his films) – with plans to fast-track the movie’s development. Emmerich is lined up to direct the film – which, according to Deadline, will revolve around “an unlikely band of misfits” who must work together to save our world when the moon falls out of orbit and starts hurtling towards Earth. Although Deadline‘s article also describes the Moonfall script as a mash-up of 2012 and Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind, it doesn’t sound like there will be any aliens in Emmerich’s movie (unlike Spielberg’s).
At this stage in his filmmaking career, Emmerich has unleashed mass destruction on Earth in many ways; including, alien invasion (the Independence Day movies), global warming (The Day After Tomorrow), and natural phenomena (2012). A recurring criticism that’s been made of Independence Day: Resurgence is that it shows that even Emmerich has started to run out of creative ways to wreak havoc on our world on the big screen. Moonfall should offer something a bit different in that regard, though the basic premise bears more than a passing resemblance to that of Michael Bay’s 1998 film Armageddon (albeit, with it being the moon that’s threatening to wipe out life on Earth instead of an asteroid).
There’s generally a sizable audience for Emmerich’s brand of popcorn entertainment, though, so it’s easy to see why Universal would be interested in Moonfall – a project that 20th Century Fox and Sony Pictures were also interested in, according to Deadline. Question is, will Emmerich’s type of disaster tentpole continue to be as commercially-viable in the foreseeable future – and how will his commitment to making Moonfall affect his other in-development projects, such as Emmerich’s planned Stargate movie reboot trilogy?
We’ll bring you more information on Moonfall as it becomes available.