One way or another, Roland Emmerich will always end up drawn back to the big budget effects-driven epics that made his name. The filmmaker has branched out and tackled countless different genres since Independence Day firmly established him as Hollywood’s premiere master of disaster 25 years ago, but he always ends up retreating to familiar ground eventually.
Anonymous, White House Down, Stonewall, Independence Day and Midway all bombed, so having gone zero-for-five since the release of 2012 over a decade ago, it was inevitable that Emmerich would try to capitalize on his residual reputation in the sort of high concept nonsense that’s always yielded his biggest box office returns. On that front, Moonfall is poised to deliver and then some.
The plot finds the Moon knocked out of its orbit, sending it on a collision course with Earth. Naturally, an intrepid team of scientists, astronauts and engineers put their heads together to save the day. Halle Berry’s former astronaut Jo Fowler is the only one who knows how to save the world, though, meaning she has to team up with an old flame played by Patrick Wilson and John Bradley’s conspiracy nut to mount a last-ditch space mission with the fate of humanity at stake.
The first Moonfall footage screened at CinemaCon, and it’s interestingly revealed the movie is set in 2011. Does that make it a prequel to 2012? Probably not, but it’d be fun. The brief sizzle reel shows black goo hitting a spaceship that sends it spinning out of control, before ominous shots of a tornado forming on the Moon are followed by the title card. Roland Emmerich, Halle Berry, Patrick Wilson, conspiracy theories, mysterious black goop, space tornadoes and the Moon being knocked out orbit? It sounds suitably preposterous, so sign us up.