Lionsgate Nabs Roland Emmerich's Sci-Fi Epic 'Moonfall' for North America

Roland Emmerich Getty H 2016
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The company is heading into space with the 'Independence Day' helmer after releasing 'Midway.'

Lionsgate is heading into space with Roland Emmerich after nabbing North American rights to Moonfall, a $150 million sci-fi epic that the Independence Day helmer will direct and co-write.

The distribution deal with Emmerich's Centropolis Entertainment production company follows Lionsgate releasing his World War II drama Midway, which starred Luke Evans, Mandy Moore and Woody Harrelson. Moonfall will be produced by Centropolis and will start production in 2020. There's no word yet on casting.

Moonfall will imagine a disaster in which a mysterious force knocks the moon from its orbit, sending it on a collision course with Earth. With little time to spare, a ragtag team launches a last-ditch mission to the moon, hoping to solve the mystery and save Earth from annihilation.

"Roland Emmerich is the undisputed master of spectacular high-concept epics, and the premise and promise of Moonfall is the kind of action tentpole that will be event moviegoing in 2021," Jason Constantine, Lionsgate president of acquisitions and co-productions, said Tuesday in a statement.

Emmerich is best known for Hollywood tentpoles like Godzilla, The Patriot, The Day After Tomorrow, 2012 and White House Down, which together have grossed more than $4 billion worldwide.

Added Constantine, "This is the kind of visual theatrical entertainment that Roland does better than anyone, and we are thrilled to partner with him yet again."

Emmerich will direct Moonfall from a script also penned by his 2012 co-writer Harald Kloser and Spenser Cohen.

AGC is also handling worldwide sales, which began at Cannes. Centropolis raised equity funding for Moonfall with CAA Media Finance and AGC.

As with Midway, Emmerich and Centropolis are independently producing and financing Moonfall, overseeing all aspects of production, financing and delivery and collaborating with Lionsgate and its worldwide partners on marketing and distribution.

CAA repped the filmmakers and Constantine, who oversaw the deal for Lionsgate along with Lionsgate's executive vp acquisitions Eda Kowan and executive vp business and legal affairs John Biondo.

AGC Studios vp legal and business affairs Anant Tamirisa negotiated the deal for AGC, and JP Pettinato and Richard Thompson negotiated for Centropolis Entertainment.