Roland Emmerich says Moonfall is a mix between 2012 and Independence Day

Roland Emmerich, Moonfall

There’s very few people who deliver disaster porn quite on the same scale as Roland Emmerich, and the director’s latest might just be his biggest yet as it will feature the Moon falling out of orbit and hurtling towards Earth. Nice to see Emmerich tackling something realistic and grounded for once. Oh boy. The director is currently attending the Cannes Film Festival to pitch his vision for the $150 million sci-fi epic known as MOONFALL, and took part in an interview with Deadline to lay out his plans for the film.

This was a project I’ve wanted to make for a long time,” Emmerich said. “It is borne out of my fascination with the moon. This is a movie with a big idea. When you read about the moon and learn about how peculiar it is…it’s the oddest object in many ways. There’s no other moon as strange in the solar system.” The director went on to explain that thematically and tonally, MOONFALL is something of a mix between 2012 and INDEPENDENCE DAY. “If you like my movies, you’ll like this movie. It’s very much like 2012 and Independence Day. It’s a mix of the two, but without an extraterrestrial element. There is a big twist at some point, but I don’t want to give that away now. I had a very clear idea about the tone I wanted on this film. All my movies have humour and don’t take themselves too seriously. Comic relief is important in big films. Look at the original Star Wars. Or all the Marvel movies. You have to have a laugh as well.” MOONFALL will focus on an unlikely band of misfits who must band together to save the planet, who Emmerichs says will consist of a diverse group of Americans.

The group are Americans. It’s a diverse group of Americans. We have some actors in mind but very few of my movies have required huge stars. The Patriot was one of those. The studio on that film wanted a star; they gave me three names and said they’d make it if I could get one. The first name on the list was Mel [Gibson] and we got him. But I tend to work a different way. I like to cast against the grain. Jake Gyllenhaal wasn’t the household name he is now when he made Day After Tomorrow. On Independence Day, I wanted Will Smith as the pilot but the character hadn’t been written as a black part. When I told the studio who I wanted, they freaked. It took a long time to get it passed them. There are different ways to go, of course. Gravity had big stars. But a lot of money can go into stars.

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Roland Emmerich also sees MOONFALL as a film with franchise potential, so get ready for the Moon to fall again and again! “I see this movie as having franchise potential,” Emmerich tells us. “I haven’t done that before. On Independence Day, we did another one because the studio asked, and in fact, I have a third part if the studio is interested. I had seen Stargate as a trilogy but that didn’t come together. So all my movies but one have been standalone.

The official synopsis for MOONFALL:

The Moon. It controls our nights, our days, the seasons, and our ocean tides. And since the beginning of humankind, its phases stood as a symbol of enlightenment, inner knowledge – and our own immortality. Until now. Suddenly and without warning a mysterious force knocks the Moon from its orbit around Earth and sends it hurtling on collision course with life as we know it. With mere weeks before impact, and against all odds, a ragtag team launches an impossible last-ditch mission into space, leaving behind everyone they love and risking everything to land on the lunar surface, unlock its secrets, and save our planet from annihilation. But first they must battle an unknown and unfathomable power that will challenge everything we know about the moon, the universe, and ourselves.

Before MOONFALL, Roland Emmerich will be bringing us MIDWAY on November 8, 2019. The World War II stars Woody Harrelson, Luke Evans, Mandy Moore, Patrick Wilson, Ed Skrein, Aaron Eckhart, Nick Jonas, Darren Criss, and Dennis Quaid.