Roland Emmerich teases 'Star Wars'-style plan for a 'Moonfall' movie-verse

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Roland Emmerich teases 'Star Wars'-style plan for a 'Moonfall' movie-verse

If it’s a trilogy, the middle movie has to end with a cliffhanger.

Moonfall Still

Moonfall is set to make contact next week, putting director Roland Emmerich’s save-the-world sci-fi tale on a collision course with theaters. But when the government’s been sitting on apocalyptic-sized secrets about the Moon for decades, it’s only natural that unraveling the whole conspiracy might take more than a single movie.

That’s the thinking behind what could turn into a potential Moonfall trilogy, if the iconic Independence Day and Godzilla director follows through with his reported plans for a pair of sequels. Speaking recently with Collider, Emmerich said he conceived Moonfall as a three-part space series, complete with a middle installment that leaves audiences in suspense with an Empire Strikes Back-style cliffhanger.

Admitting he’s “not very high on sequels,” Emmerich nevertheless said he “tried this time to make this a trilogy, but I am not sure even if I want it anymore. I think if I do a sequel, I will make it a little bit more like the original Star Wars, the second one will have a huge cliffhanger,” he said. “Because that's totally lost on people. Everything always has to be clean cut. Why not leave them hanging and say, we left you hanging see the conclusion, in two years.”

One of Moonfall’s big sci-fi tricks is the way it unveils a long-concealed truth about the Moon: it turns out to be an artificially-constructed satellite with a wild backstory that fuels the imagination of a conspiracy theorist played by Game of Thrones' John Bradley. But if he and a pair of disgraced astronauts played by Halle Berry (Die Another Day) and Patrick Wilson (Aquaman) end up saving the Earth as its off-course satellite unleashes an AI swarm, it kind of begs the question: where would a second movie even begin to pick up the action?

Emmerich isn’t sharing specifics, but he did say a sequel would need to recenter its focus. “[I]t’s more about the Moon than about Earth, because in the second movie, you cannot have the Moon falling on Earth again,” he explained. “So it has to be what's happening to Earth and how we use the Moon to fight it.”

As the movie's trailers tease, Moonfall has a little bit of the same upbeat sci-fi vibes that made Emmierch’s Independence Day so much popcorn-munching fun. Like Independence Day, it’s also assembling an ensemble cast to help save the Earth from an oversized space threat. In addition to Berry, Wilson, and Bradley, Moonfall also features Michael Peña (Ant-Man and the Wasp), Charlie Plummer (Spontaneous), Kelly Yu (So Young), Eme Ikwuakor (Concussion), Carolina Bartczak (X-Men: Apocalypse), and Donald Sutherland (Ad Astra).

Moonfall debuts in theaters on Feb. 4. Check out the first five minutes of the movie here.

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