Lionsgate gives a February 2022 release date to Moonfall, Independence Day director Roland Emmerich’s latest entry in the disaster movie genre.
Roland Emmerich’s Moonfall gets a February 2022 release date. Emmerich established a reputation as cinema’s master of disaster beginning with his blockbuster 1996 alien invasion epic Independence Day. He would continue burnishing his disaster movie credentials with 1998’s Godzilla, 2004’s The Day After Tomorrow, 2009’s 2012 and 2016’s Independence Day: Resurgence.
Of course Emmerich doesn’t exclusively make disaster movies. Along the way he’s also dabbled in war movies with 2000’s The Patriot, historical epics with 2008’s 10,000 BC and even arty drama with 2011’s Anonymous. But of course he will always be associated with disaster movies and that’s the genre he will return to with his next effort Moonfall. After pitting humanity against aliens, kaiju, the ravages of climate change and a generalized apocalypse foretold by the Mayans, Emmerich’s newest threat to life on earth is the Moon itself. In Moonfall, Luna is mysteriously knocked from its orbit and sent hurtling toward the Earth. Only a pair of astronauts (Halle Berry and Patrick Wilson) and a conspiracy theorist (John Bradley) know how to save humanity from destruction, but they only have a few weeks to stop the cataclysm. When they finally get to the Moon, they discover that Earth’s satellite hides a deeper mystery than anyone imagined.
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Indeed Emmerich’s return to the disaster movie genre sounds like exactly the kind of thing his fans have been craving. As reported by Deadline, Lionsgate will unleash Moonfall and all its havoc on February 4, 2022. No other major films are slated to be released on that date so for now Moonfall has the weekend to itself. Sony’s Morbius comes out the week before while 20th Century Studios’ Death On the Nile arrives the week after.
Given that Emmerich’s movies are no longer nearly as bankable as they were in the wake of Independence Day, when he was legitimately one of the biggest directors in Hollywood, it’s perhaps somewhat surprising to see Moonfall boasting a budget of $140 million. But his backers clearly still think Emmerich can have a hit with his classic disaster movie formula. Independence Day: Resurgence did gross $389 million worldwide but of course that movie had the advantage of being a sequel. Emmerich’s other recent movie Midway was a disappointment, grossing just $126 million worldwide on a budget of $100 million.
Moonfall at least has a strong cast headed up by Berry, Wilson and Bradley, with Michael Peña, Charlie Plummer, Kelly Yu, Eme Ikwuakor, Carolina Bartczak and Donald Sutherland in support. It will be fascinating to see if Emmerich can still make bank with his old disaster movie tricks, or if time has finally passed him by.
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