Biography of Roland Emmerich

Written by Barney Buckley

Email Address – bbuckley@triad.rr.com


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Mr. Roland Emmerich is of German descendants and was born on November 10, 1955. He is a German film director, screenwriter, and producer. Most of his films are English-language based from Hollywood productions and have grossed more than $3 billion worldwide. His films have grossed over $1 billion in the United States alone. Making him the countries 14th highest grossing director of all time. Roland began his part as a director in the film industry by directing the very 1st film that is called “The Noah’s Ark Principle” which came out in 1984 as part of his university thesis and also cofounded the company called “Centropolis Entertainment” in 1985 with his sister. He is an avid collector of art and an active campaigner for the LGBT community, and is openly gay. He is also a campaigner for awareness of global warming and equal rights.

Early life and career

Roland Emmerich was born in Stuttgart West Germany and grew up in a nearby town called Singlefingen. He did this as a youth, he traveled extensively throughout Europe and North America on vacations financed by his father, Hans, the wealthy founder of a garden machinery production company.[6] In 1977, he began attending University of Television and Film Munich with the intention of studying to become a production designer.[6][7] After watching Star Wars, he instead decided to enroll in the school’s film director program.[6][8] Required to create a short film as his final thesis in 1981, he wrote and directed the full-length feature The Noah’s Ark Principle, which was screened as the opening film of the 34th Berlin International Film Festival in 1984

By 1985 he did find the company Centropolis Film Productions it is now called Centropolis Entertainment in partnership with his sister, producer Ute Emmerich he would go on to direct his 1st major film it was a fantasy feature called Joey. He subsequently directed the 1987 comedy Hollywood-Monster and the 1990 science-fiction film Moon 44. Theatrically, these were only released in and nearby his native country, although Emmerich filmed them in English and went against conventional German styles in an attempt to appeal to a larger market. This subsequently resulted in Moon 44 being released direct-to-video in the U.S. in early 1991. Joey and Hollywood-Monster eventually also saw home video releases in the U.S. (as Making Contact and Ghost Chase, respectively) once Emmerich achieved more prominence in America.

Producer Mario Kassar invited Emmerich to come to the United States to direct a futuristic action film entitled Isobar. Dean Devlin, who appeared in Moon 44, soon joined Emmerich as his writing and producing partner, and served in this capacity until 2000.[9] Emmerich subsequently refused the offer to direct after producers rejected Devlin’s re-write of the script, and the Isobar project was eventually scrapped. Instead, Emmerich was hired to replace director Andrew Davis for the action movie Universal Soldier. The film was released in 1992, and has since been followed by two direct-to-video sequels, a theatrical sequel, and another sequel released in 2010.

Emmerich next helmed the 1994 science-fiction film Stargate. At the time, it set a record for the highest-grossing opening weekend for a film released in the month of October. It became more commercially successful than most film industry insiders had anticipated, and spawned a highly popular media franchise.

Emmerich then directed Independence Day, an alien invasion feature, released in 1996, that became the first film to gross $100 million in less than a week and went on to become one of the most financially successful films of all time, at one point having been the second-highest grossing film in terms of worldwide box office. Emmerich and Devlin then created the television series The Visitor, which aired on the Fox Network during 1997–1998 before being cancelled after one season.

His next film, Godzilla, opened in 1998. An extensive advertising and marketing campaign generated significant hype during the months leading up to the film’s release. The film was a box office success but was met with negative reviews from critics and fans. It garnered a Saturn Award for Best Special Effects, a BMI Film Music Award, and the Audience Award for Best Director at the European Film Awards while also receiving a Razzie Award for Worst Remake or Sequel. It has only a 16% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

2000s

Taking a short break from science-fiction, Emmerich next directed the American Revolutionary War epic The Patriot. One of only four films (Universal Soldier, Anonymous and White House Down being the others) Emmerich has directed in which he did not contribute to the screenplay, the film received generally favorable critical and commercial response,[18] and is Emmerich’s best-reviewed film to date. After teaming up with new screenwriting partner Harald Kloser, Emmerich returned once again to directing a visual effects-laden adventure with 2004’s blockbuster The Day After Tomorrow, another disaster film about a rapidly oncoming Ice Age brought upon by the effects of global warming. Soon afterward, he founded Reelmachine, another film production company based in Germany.

In 2008, Emmerich directed 10,000 BC, a film about the journeys of a prehistoric tribe of mammoth hunters. It was a box office hit, but consistently regarded by professional critics as his worst film, as well as one of the worst films of the year. He was slated to direct a remake of the 1966 science-fiction film Fantastic Voyage, but the project slipped back into development hell. In 2009, Emmerich directed 2012, an apocalyptic disaster film based on the conspiracy theory that the ancient Mayans prophesied the world’s ending on December 21, 2012. Despite mixed reviews, the film went on to be his second highest grossing film to date (after Independence Day) and received praise from audiences. Emmerich usually finishes production of a large-scale movie both in a time frame shorter and on a budget lower than what is typically requested by other directors.

2010s

Emmerich’s next film, Anonymous, released on 28 October 2011, is based on the premise that Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford is the real author of the plays and sonnets of William Shakespeare. According to Emmerich, “It’s an historical thriller because it’s about who will succeed Queen Elizabeth and the struggle of the people who want to have a hand in it. It’s the Tudors on one side and the Cecils on the other, and in between [the two] is the Queen. Through that story we tell how the plays written by the Earl of Oxford ended up labelled ‘William Shakespeare.” The release date for Anonymous coincided with the completion of the 13th Baktun, the date which marks the empirical base for Emmerich’s film 2012, as this is celebrated by the surviving indigenous Maya, specifically the Quiché people.

Emmerich directed the action-thriller film White House Down, which involved an assault on the White House by a paramilitary group. The spec script was written by James Vanderbilt and was purchased by Sony Pictures for $3 million in March 2012. The Hollywood Reporter called it “one of the biggest spec sales in quite a while”. The journal said the script was similar “tonally and thematically” to the films Die Hard, Air Force One and Olympus Has Fallen (2013). Emmerich began filming in July 2012 at the La Cité Du Cinéma in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The film was released on June 28, 2013 in the United States.

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