Roland Emmerich Slams Marvel and ‘Star Wars’ for ‘Ruining Our Industry’

The blockbuster filmmaker says he disdains franchises so much that he even regrets making an "Independence Day" sequel.
Roland Emmerich attends the world premiere of "Midway" at the Regency Village Theatre on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
Roland Emmerich
Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

Criticism of Marvel movies is nothing new, with a different filmmaker complaining about Hollywood’s increased reliance on franchises seemingly every day. But those criticisms usually come from the arthouse side of Hollywood, with filmmakers complaining that the prevalence of blockbusters makes it harder to fund small films. But it appears that even the biggest blockbuster filmmakers have their grievances with Hollywood’s main franchises. Disaster filmmaker Roland Emmerich has once again joined the chorus of voices saying that Hollywood makes too many Marvel and “Star Wars” movies, and the trend makes him fear for the future of original features.

Speaking to Den of Geek to promote his latest film “Moonfall,” Emmerich lamented the current state of blockbuster filmmaking. “Because naturally, Marvel and DC Comics and Star Wars have pretty much taken over,” he said. “It’s ruining our industry a little bit, because nobody does anything original anymore.”

To many, Emmerich is a poster child for excessively commercial Hollywood blockbusters. But while the “Independence Day” director does not deny the idea that he’s never seen a VFX explosion he didn’t love, he says he uses his status as a disaster filmmaker to advance his mission of making original films. He credits his reputation with allowing him to secure a $146 million budget for an original movie about the moon falling onto the Earth.

“You should make bold new movies, you know? And I think, actually, Christopher Nolan is the master of that. He is someone who can make movies about whatever he wants,” he said. “I have it a little bit harder, but I still have a big enough name — especially when it’s a disaster or has some sort of disaster theme.”

“Moonfall” was released to an onslaught of negative reviews, with IndieWire’s David Ehrlich calling it “breathtakingly stupid.” The film is expected to have an uphill battle at the box office this weekend, but no matter what happens don’t expect Emmerich to start making franchise films any time soon. He has even expressed regret over making “Independence Day: Resurgence,” saying “I should have just said no because all of a sudden I was making something I criticized myself: a sequel.”

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