The disaster movie template, if done right, should be a repeatable recipe for success. Think of all the classics, The Towering Inferno, Earthquake, The Poseidon Adventure. The blueprints are the same.
Assemble a cast blended of A-List, B-List and TV actors, maybe with a celebrity or two thrown in on their acting debut. Give them all paper thin backstories. Then kill them off one-by-one in a variety of inventive ways as they are making their escape from whatever disaster has befallen them.
Then throw in some classic tropes. An evil contractor who cuts costs to help bring the disaster about, a disbelieving government scientist who realizes all too late what is happening, an estranged couple, a precocious kid (with medical condition if possible) and everything is good to go. You are disaster ready!
If the cast is growing with recognizable names then that’s probably a good sign for any entry into the disaster genre. If anyone knows how to follow this blueprint it’s Roland Emmerich, arguably heir apparent to the great Irwin Allen’s disaster mantle. It would seem this well trodden path is being followed for his latest movie – the $136 million disaster movie Moonfall. He is independently producing this and he is assembling quite a cast.
Donald Sutherland and Eme Ikwuakor (Inhumans) have signed on. This means they are joining Halle Berry, Patrick Wilson, Stanley Tucci, John Bradley, Josh Gad and Charlie Plummer. Filming has just kicked off in Montreal.
According to the blurb:
“A mysterious force knocks the Moon from its orbit around Earth and send it hurtling on a collision course with life as we know it. With only weeks before impact, a ragtag team launches a last-ditch mission into space to land on the lunar surface and save the planet from annihilation.”
Sutherland will apparently play the NASA archivist who knows a deep, dark secret. He struggles with his own conscience about whether to tell the world the truth about what really happened during the Apollo moon landings. Ikwuakor will play a senior military official and estranged father to the son of Halle Berry’s character.
The pieces are falling into place. Now all they need is to dial-up the destruction porn to 11.
The movie will be released in 2022.