Hoping to tap into the American market, Emmerich began directing English-language supernatural fantasy features in his native Germany. Eventually, his science-fiction film Moon 44, went straight to video in the United States and featured Dean Devlin. Having caught the attention of producer Mario Kassar, Emmerich was invited to America. Devlin would subsequently become Emmerich's writing and producing partner once Emmerich settled in Hollywood.
Emmerich then directed Independence Day, an alien invasion feature that became the first film to gross $100 million in less than a week and went on to become one of the most successful films of all time. His next film, the much-hyped Godzilla, did not meet its anticipated box office success and was a critical failure.
After a change of pace directing the American Revolutionary War film The Patriot, Emmerich returned once again to directing a visual effects-laden adventure with 2004's The Day After Tomorrow. Soon afterwards, he founded Reelmachine, another film production company based in Germany.
Emmerich's most recent effort is 10,000 BC, a film about the journeys of a prehistoric tribe. He was slated to direct a remake of the 1966 science-fiction film Fantastic Voyage, but the project slipped back into development hell. He is currently directing 2012 , an apocalyptic film inspired by the theory that the Mayans prophesied the world's ending in 2012.
A chain-smoker who has been known to smoke as many as four packs of cigarettes a day, Emmerich has often included in his films characters who are trying to quit smoking, and/or warn against the dangers of tobacco use.
In 2006, he pledged $150,000 to the Legacy Project, a campaign dedicated to gay and lesbian film preservation. Emmerich, who is openly gay, made the donation on behalf of Outfest, making it the largest gift in the festival's history. In 2007, on behalf of the LGBT community, he held a fundraiser at his Los Angeles home for Democratic Party presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
|1984||Das Arche Noah Prinzip||Director, writer|
|1987||Hollywood-Monster||Director, producer, co-writer|
|1990||Moon 44||Director, producer, co-writer|
|1991||Eye of the Storm||Executive producer|
|1994||The High Crusade||Producer|
|1996||Independence Day||Director, co-writer, executive producer|
|1997||The Visitor (TV)||Co-creator, executive producer|
|1998||Godzilla||Director, co-writer, executive producer|
|1999||The Thirteenth Floor||Producer|
|2000||The Patriot||Director, executive producer|
|2001||"Infinite Possibilities" (TV commercial)||Director|
|2002||Eight Legged Freaks||Executive producer|
|2004||The Day After Tomorrow||Director, producer, co-writer|
|2008||10,000 BC||Director, producer, co-writer|
Review: Roland Emmerich's film "The Day After Tomorrow" is a fantasy with an unsubtle message and plenty of political jabs
May 28, 2004; ROBERT SIEGEL All Things Considered (NPR) 05-28-2004 Review: Roland Emmerich's film "The Day After Tomorrow" is a fantasy with an...