When you get down to it, the career of Roland Emmerich (White House Down) has been essentially critic-proof. Much like contemporary Michael Bay (Transformers: Age of Extinction), Emmerich has spent decades making movies that have been (largely) rejected by film literati, but also generated impressive box office returns.
Thus, the German-born director’s clout remains constant despite the under-performance of projects such as Anonymous and White House Down. Though he will soon be tackling the historical/political drama Stonewall and the long-discussed sequel(s) to Independence Day, Emmerich may also have cast his eye even further out with the acquisition of the rights to Maya Lord, a historical novel.
Deadline shares the scoop that Emmerich’s production company, Centropolis Entertainment, has purchased the media rights to Maya Lord, a book by John Coe Robbins. Emmerich apparently intends to direct an eventual feature based on the novel, but not before completing his currently announced projects.
The first novel published by Robbins, Maya Lord tells the based-on-a-true-story tale of Gonzalo Guerrero, a Spanish explorer shipwrecked in Mexico during the 16th century. Even as Hernán Cortés was brutally conquering the indigenous peoples of the region, Guerrero was accepted into a Mayan tribe, fought against the Spanish invasion, and eventually married a chieftain’s daughter.
At first glance, Maya Lord bears an undeniable resemblance to the many examples of the “White Guy Joins Exotic People and Becomes Awesome” subgenre embodied by the novel/television miniseries Shogun. That said, Gonzalo Guerrero is actually a noted folk hero from Mexican history – after all, he’s credited with fathering the first Mestizo children in history. Even though his story fills a familiar genre niche, this doesn’t mean it isn’t worth telling on the silver screen.
A proper screen adaptation of Maya Lord may be some years out, due to Emmerich’s current commitments. However, it could very well appear sooner if the directing duties are passed off to another figure – or if the Independence Day sequels prove once more to be wind and ghosts.
What do you think, Screen Rant readers? Does Maya Lord sound like something suited to Emmerich’s directorial style – and something you would like to see in theaters?
Maya Lord does not yet have a release date. Keep an eye on Screen Rant as more details about the production appear.
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