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SYFY WIRE Conspiracy Theories

Moonfall's Roland Emmerich Wasn't Satisfied With Real Conspiracy Theories, So He Made His Own

The bonkers idea of future humans building the moon apparently wasn't good enough.

By Josh Weiss
Moonfall Still

While preparing to write the screenplay for his upcoming sci-fi disaster flick — Moonfall (streaming now on SYFY) — director Roland Emmerich looked at all manner of bonkers hypotheses regarding our planet's lunar satellite. Some claim it was built by future humans, while others argue that the moon is entirely hollow and contains an advanced civilization within its core.

"Reading conspiracy theories is a little bit my thing," Emmerich said during a chat with Empire for the magazine's February 2022 issue. "There were three theories presented in the book [Christopher Knight and Alan Butler's Who Built the Moon?] and they were all not quite what I thought this could be, so I came up with my own theory."

Riffing on the "Hollow Moon" concept, the filmmaker decided to knock the danged thing out of orbit (by way of an "AI swarm") and send it on an apocalyptic collision course with Earth. Humanity's only hope of survival rests with two NASA astronauts — Jo Fowler (Halle Berry) and Brian Harper (Patrick Wilson) — and a lone conspiracy theorist, Dr. K.C. Hausman (John Bradley). 

"These three people come together and have to use old space shuttles to go up there and find out what's happening," Emmerich teased. "And craziness unfolds. They have to fly inside the moon. At the same time, there's a family trying to survive on Earth. It takes place about 60 percent on the moon and 40 percent on Earth."

Roland Emmerich has destroyed the world a lot

No stranger to the end of the world, Mr. Emmerich has ravaged our little blue marble several times throughout his career via large-scale ensemble movies like Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow, and 2012. "I just like these kinds of films because it's always a lot of characters to start with, then fewer and fewer of them," he explained. "At the end, it's always someone very normal who survives. It's always like the author of a book or something. I like that."

When asked if we'll see further chapters in the blossoming Moonfall saga, the filmmaker answered: "That will all depend on the success of this movie, but the next two parts are about the moon. We discover our moon is not what we think it it is...And then starts a bigger story."

Moonfall was co-written by Emmerich and producer Harold Kloser. 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) co-star alongside Berry, Wilson, and Bradley.

Stream Moonfall right now on SYFY.

Originally published Dec 23, 2021.