Moonfall Patrick Wilson

Roland Emmerich, the master of cinematic disaster, is gearing up for another big-budget disaster movie called Moonfall, and now he’s found his leading man.

Patrick Wilson (The Conjuring, Aquaman) has been cast as the film’s protagonist, and he’ll play a disgraced astronaut who’s called back into action when the moon is suddenly put on a crash course with Earth.

The Hollywood Reporter broke the news about Wilson and revealed that Charlie Plummer (All the Money in the World, Boardwalk Empire, Lean on Pete) has also joined the cast. Wilson is set to play “a disgraced former NASA astronaut whose last mission, which ended in tragedy, holds a clue about the impending catastrophe,” while Plummer will play his teenaged son. Naturally, that “impending catastrophe” is that the moon is somehow on a collision course with Earth after being knocked out of its orbit by a mysterious force. And in a very Armageddon-sounding scenario, a ragtag team is sent to the moon’s surface to try to avert the crisis with only weeks until impact.

Halle Berry (Monster’s Ball, Swordfish) is on board as a former colleague of Wilson’s protagonist, while Josh Gad (Frozen, Beauty and the Beast) is playing the “Jeff Goldblum in Independence Day” archetype: an eccentric genius who first discovers that the moon is no longer in its proper orbit. All we need now are a bunch of veteran character actors to play generals and experts who argue their way around a massive table, uttering things like “My God” and “Do you have any idea what this means?!” and “Get me the President on the phone!”

In all seriousness, Wilson is an excellent choice for this type of ’90s throwback. He’s always a compelling presence on screen, bolstered by the fact that he can shift between everyman and exceptional in the blink of an eye. He can also play “haunted by a traumatic event from his own past” with the best of ’em, and this role sounds like the straight-ahead, classical, A-list, leading man part that I’m personally glad he didn’t grow up playing, but am now equally glad that he’s taking at this stage of his career.

Emmerich, known for making movies like Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow, and White House Down, is writing the script with Harald Kloser and Spenser Cohen, the two guys who helped him write the atrocious disaster movie 2012. Here’s hoping they are able to learn from that film’s mistakes and execute this high concept idea to perfection.

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