Starting from the Movie Basics
Sci-fi filmmaker Roland Emmerich, writer and director of such films as Stargate, 1998’s Godzilla and Independence Day, is returning to the big screen with his latest sci-fi disaster flick Moonfall. In this video I’d like to discuss what we know so far about this film including, exploring the real science of the Moon and the many conspiracy theories surrounding it, which served as Emmerich’s inspiration for the story. . The screenplay was written by Roland Emmerich, and his 2012 co-writer Harald Kloser and Spenser Cohen. With a budget of 140 million, this movie is one of the most expensive independently-produced films of all time. The official synopsis for Moonfall from Lionsgate Pictures reads: “In Moonfall, a mysterious force knocks the Moon from its orbit around Earth and sends it hurtling on a collision course with life as we know it.
With mere weeks before impact and the world on the brink of annihilation, NASA executive and former astronaut Jo Fowler (Halle Berry) is convinced she has the key to saving us all – but only one astronaut from her past, Brian Harper (Patrick Wilson, “Midway”) and conspiracy theorist K.C. Houseman (John Bradley, “Game of Thrones”) believes her. These unlikely heroes will mount an impossible last-ditch mission into space, leaving behind everyone they love, only to find out that our Moon is not what we think it is.” ~ Moonfall Synopsis The roles of the two astronauts are played by Halle Berry and Patrick Wilson with the conspiracy theorist played by John Bradley. The film also stars Michael Pena, Charlie Plummer, Kelly Yu, and Donald Sutherland.
Possible Science, Theories and Ideas in the Movie
The moon is an astronomical body that has long influenced societies and cultures throughout history and continues to fascinate and inspire the imagination. The Moon is Earth’s only natural satellite; it is also the largest natural satellite in the solar system relative to the size of its planet. The moon’s gravitational influence is responsible for Earth’s tides and would have devastating consequences if it were to be knocked from orbit not just on Earth’s oceans but its man made structures as well. In the trailer footage massive tidal waves are seen caused by the falling lunar body and Emmerich has stated in an interview with Vanity Fair that “At one point the moon slides over New York and pretty much rips out a couple of the tall buildings—and they’ll end up in the Rockies.” Also making note of the fact that famous buildings in places they don’t belong has become his signature. Besides the real world consequences such an event would cause Roland Emmerich also continues to draw inspiration from myths and conspiracy theories for his latest sci-fi thriller.
Because the moon is tidally locked to Earth, the length of a full rotation on its own axis causes the same side of it to always face the planet. As such what has been coined the dark side of the moon has long sparked the imagination of science fiction writers such as Emmerich. In a promotional poster that was released for the film it said “In 2022 Humanity Will Face The Dark Side Of The Moon”. In the trailer footage released so far a dark swarmlike entity is featured. It makes me wonder if the dark side of the moon is its home. This film appears to be an amalgamation of several common ideas that have come out of the science fiction genre. Certainly the filmmaker is quite experienced when working with aliens. Previously Emmerich worked on Stargate whose story was based on the theory of aliens creating all civilizations, 2012 was based on the Mayan Calendar’s prediction that the end of the world would come December 21, of that year, and Independence Day featured Area 51 alien conspiracy elements prominently.
Along that same vein Emmerich’s Moonfall is based on the many conspiracy theories involving Nasa and the moon but with his own unique spin. Nasa was happy to help with the film’s production however in Moonfall the organization and its secrets are at the very heart of the story. In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly where the filmmaker breaks down the newest trailer he said quote: “It started with Apollo 11, where there was this two-minute radio silence. During that time, they saw light emanating from the moon’s surface. That’s when they first realized the moon was hollow.” “NASA is hiding stuff on a very high level because even the second-in-command doesn’t know about it.” Emmerich says. Regarding the inspiration for the hollow moon itself, In an interview with Empire for the magazine’s February 2022 issue Emmerich said quote: “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.” In this book it is theorized by the authors that future humanity traveled back in time to artificially construct the moon and it seems Emmerich took parts of certain theories that interested and inspired him the most. In his interview with Entertainment Weekly he also expounds on the concept of the moon not being the natural satellite we think it is, that it has indeed been built. Saying quote: “Some people believe that megastructures are a built shell around a star,” Emmerich says. “Enormous, enormous structures that are more or less like a cage around a captured star.” His phrasing certainly piques my interest. Is the moon not only a megastructure but perhaps a cage for the mysterious black swarm from the trailer?
Emmerich later reveals more when asked about the gravity waves featured in the trailer saying, “It’s even worse because there’s something inside the moon that’s hiding its own gravity,” Emmerich teases. “So it gets really crazy.” The hollow moon concept isn’t new to the science fiction genre. HG Wells wrote about this concept in his 1901 book The First Men in the Moon however there are even earlier literary works that feature this idea. Basing his film on this theory, Emmerich then added his own spin by knocking the moon from its orbit by what has been described as a nano swarm artificial intelligence with the subsequent discovery that the moon is not what we think it is. Could it be home to this intelligent entity or its intended cage? Is it the reason for the gravitational influence of Earth? Whether or not the swarm is indeed the same thing that’s hiding its gravity is still unclear. I tend to think there is more to the story than the swarm itself. After all, if it is indeed an AI entity something must have created it.
In an interview with Deadline last year Harald Kloser revealed that Moonfall is written as the beginning of a saga opening the door onto an epic adventure. So this story is intended to continue beyond this film. Emmerich also mentioned this with Empire when asked about the next chapters of the Moonfall saga that were teased saying “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 is…And then starts a bigger story.” I was surprised to learn that this film was created with the intention of kicking off a trilogy and I’m very interested to see where the story of Moonfall goes and how it sets up a grand scale saga. The last ditch mission to space is launched with the intention to Save the Moon, to Save Earth. But is it even possible for our heroes to succeed? As Emmerich stated the last two parts are about the moon.
How will the fallout of these events and massive revelations affect humankind and life as we know it? I look forward to finding out when Moonfall drops in theaters and Imax February 4, 2022. But I’m curious to know what you think about Roland Emmerich’s latest film and the science and theories it’s based on. Are you looking forward to Moonfall or not so much? Do you have any theories regarding the moon itself and the mysterious swarm? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.
‘Moonfall’ Release Date
‘Moonfall’ will be in worldwide cinemas in 4 February 2022.