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SYFY WIRE Moonfall

Watch: 'Moonfall' goes full 'Gravity'-style chaos in opening of Roland Emmerich sci-fi disaster film

Moonfall heads for earthly movie theaters on Feb. 4, 2022.

By Josh Weiss
Moonfall Still

Roland Emmerich's still go it! Hollywood's resident master of disaster proves that his talent for staging blockbuster bedlam on the big screen is alive and well with the first five minutes of his new project: Moonfall.

The film opens with a haunting and near-silent shot of the Earth and moon from outer space that recalls sci-fi touchstones like Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Oydssey and Ridley Scott's Alien. We then pan out of the deathly quiet void to reveal a number of astronauts working on a small NASA rig to the stylings of Toto's "Africa" (the lyric "It's gonna take a lot to drag me away from you" foreshadows the moon being violently ripped out of its own orbit and sent on a collision course with Earth).

A strange, swarm-like entity suddenly arrives out of nowhere, destroying the NASA rig before burrowing itself into our planet's lunar satellite. Astronaut Brian Harper (Patrick Wilson) is forced to channel his inner Sandra Bullock from Gravity, make his way back onto the ship — where Halle Berry's Jo Fowler has been knocked unconscious — and pilot the vessel back home.

Watch the first five minutes below:

Harper and Fowler ultimately become humanity's only hope of survival when no one believes their story. Teaming up with a conspiracy theorist named K.C. Houseman (John Bradley), the duo sets out to quite literally save the world. In fact, Houseman has his own website that you can visit by clicking here.

Michael Peña (Ant-Man), Charlie Plummer (All the Money in the World), Kelly Yu (So Young), Eme Ikwuakor (Concussion), Carolina Bartczak (X-Men: Apocalypse), and Donald Sutherland (Ad Astra) round out the main cast.

Emmerich, who co-wrote the script with Harald Kloser and Spenser Cohen has hinted at an entire franchise building out of this movie if it's successful enough at the box office in early 2022. "Moonfall is written as the beginning of a saga. It opens the door onto an epic adventure," the director said earlier this year.

Speaking with Vanity Fair in October, Emmerich revealed that he was inspired by something called the apocryphal "Hollow Moon" theory (basically a lunar iteration of the "Hollow Earth" hypothesis explored over in the Monster-Verse franchise). As its name implies, the theory suggests that the moon is hollow and contains an alien ecosystem within its core.

“I immediately realized, oh, my God, this could very well be one of these conspiracies where you can have something really traumatic happen, meaning the moon is getting out of orbit and falling on Earth," Emmerich added. "But at the same time, you learn that the moon is not what you think it is. It’s always a cool way to get into a movie."

Moonfall... falls into theaters everywhere on Feb. 4, 2022.