Roland Emmerich has tried to broaden his filmmaking horizons to paint himself as something other than Hollywood’s go-to guy for effects-driven fantasy blockbusters, but he always finds his way back to destroying the world eventually.
He followed Stargate, Independence Day, and Godzilla with Mel Gibson’s historical epic The Patriot, before diving back into the very earliest days of the human race in 10,000 BC, which was sandwiched in between The Day After Tomorrow and 2012. Period drama Anonymous, thinly-veiled Die Hard riff White House Down, and the coming-of-age tale Stonewall preceded Independence Day: Resurgence, while he most recently tackled World War II in Midway.
Emmerich is now back to what he knows best with Moonfall, which just released its first official footage. In typical fashion for the filmmaker, the plot sounds like complete nonsense, but the visuals are suitably spectacular. When the Moon is knocked out of orbit to send it on a collision course with Earth, everyone comes together in an effort to save the planet.
Of course, only Halle Berry’s ex-astronaut, her old colleague Patrick Wilson, and John Bradley’s conspiracy theorist can really set things right. The film pivots around a last-ditch space mission to presumably try and put the Moon back where it’s supposed to be, before it smashes into the world and wipes out everyone and everything.
As far as high concepts go, Moonfall is right up Emmerich’s street. He’s been off the boil for a while, though, so it’s far too early to hazard a guess as to whether it’ll mark a return to former glories.