The director has mastered the art of making the same film – about Earth’s imminent collapse – over and over, yet box office figures suggest cinemagoers can’t get enough

You might think, given the events of the last year and a half, that the dystopian disaster genre really ought to be dead in a ditch – don’t we all, as Black Mirror’s Charlie Brooker has suggested, need something a bit more cheery to get us through the long, cold winter? If so, Roland Emmerich clearly didn’t get the memo. For the German film-maker is back with yet another story of the Earth’s imminent collapse, Moonfall, centred on mysterious catastrophic events that appear to be linked to our sleeping satellite.

A strange sense of deja vu accompanies the movie’s new trailer, released earlier this week. Stop me if you think that you’ve heard this one before, but didn’t humanity’s home also suffer from catastrophic events (caused by an alien invasion) in 1996’s Independence Day? And didn’t something similar happen in 2004’s The Day After Tomorrow (caused this time by extreme weather?) Then there was Emmerich’s film 2012, in which that year’s catastrophic events were just to do with the fact that it was … well … 2012. Might Emmerich have somehow found himself transported to an old episode of the Twilight Zone, in which he is somehow trapped in the creative equivalent of a Möbius strip?

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