Roland Emmerick‘s next sci-fi action flick is heading to theaters next year. Lionsgate has set the release date for Moonfall, Emmerich’s star-studded space epic starring Halle Berry, Patrick Wilson, Michael Peña, and more.
Lionsgate announced that it has set the Moonfall release date for February 4, 2022. The film, which began shooting in October in Montreal, has a reported budget of $140 million, making it the biggest-budget “independent” movie in years, according to Deadline.
But considering the star-studded ensemble, the budget makes sense (though the “independent” label still doesn’t). The film boasts a cast that includes Halle Berry, Patrick Wilson, John Bradley, Michael Peña, Charlie Plummer, Kelly Yu, Eme Ikwuakor, Carolina Bartczak, and Donald Sutherland. Of those cast members, Peña was a last-minute addition, replacing Stanley Tucci after the latter had to drop out due to coronavirus (COVID-19) travel restrictions.
Moonfall was one of the many productions to be hit by delays due to COVID-19, forced to halt shooting in Canada when the pandemic hit. The shoot eventually resumed in October. Lionsgate had acquired the North American rights to Moonfall all the way back in late 2019 after a high-profile sales launch at Cannes, but presumably it’s better late than never.
Emmerich, who wrote the screenplay with Harald Kloser and Spenser Cohen, tackles once again the kind of big disaster feature formula that he perfected in films like Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow, and 2012. Per Deadline, “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 (Berry) is convinced she has the key to saving us all – but only one astronaut from her past, Brian Harper (Wilson), and conspiracy theorist K.C. Houseman (Bradley) believe her. The unlikely heroes will mount an impossible last-ditch mission into space only to find out that our moon is not what we think it is.”
With its official release date, Moonfall becomes the first big movie to take on the early February slot next year. Columbia’s Morbius will hit theaters the week before, with Sony’s Uncharted following two weeks after Moonfall. But to be honest, the winter release date doesn’t bode well for Moonfall, with February often being a graveyard season for theatrical releases. Unless Lionsgate expects Moonfall to be a sleeper hit, which it may very well be.
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