Roland Emmerich’s Moonfall premiere party turned disaster into opportunity

<span>Photograph: Eric Charbonneau/REX/Shutterstock</span>
Photograph: Eric Charbonneau/REX/Shutterstock

Roland Emmerich does disasters better than anyone else alive. This is a man who thrives on outrageous worst-case scenarios. The world being attacked by aliens. The world being attacked by giant lizards. The world being destroyed by climate change. The world being destroyed by climate change but in a slightly different way and with John Cusack inexplicably as the action hero. If you want a disaster to be bigger and more elaborate than anything you could possibly imagine, you need Emmerich in your corner.

However, some disasters are worse than others. And this is why Emmerich just had to have the premiere party for his new film at his house.

Moonfall – in which the moon falls out of the sky and Halle Berry has to blow it up before it bangs into Earth – is out this week. Its studio, Lionsgate, had elaborate plans to celebrate its release. More that 1,000 people were due to be invited, and entire streets shut down to accommodate all the red carpets necessary to celebrate a film about life as we know it being extinguished by the moon.

But, in predictable fashion, Omicron raised its ugly head and plans had to be scaled back dramatically. In the end, the premiere was held at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, with a quarter of the anticipated guests, and then everyone bundled back to Roland’s for the after-party where they were served pigs in blankets and mini cupcakes. Which does rather sound as if Emmerich panicked and did a trolley dash around the nearest M&S with a couple of hours to go.

However, from all evidence it looks as though Emmerich pulled it off. Upon first hearing the Moonfall premiere had turned into a house party, I had images of warm cans of lager, people fighting over the Spotify playlist, and everyone leaving at 9pm because some idiot decided to get his acoustic guitar out. But according to a video posted by Variety columnist Marc Malkin, it was a swanky event indeed.

The video shows all manner of beautiful people milling around a pool while a band plays and spotlights shoot celebratory beams into the sky, presumably to make sure the moon hadn’t pivoted off its axis and embarked on an apocalyptic collision course with Earth. It looked perfect. It looked like something from La La Land, if La La Land parties had gigantic artificial moons dangling above the swimming pool to remind all the guests that certain death constantly lurks above, and all our lives could be obliterated in a second if anything in the universe fluctuates even slightly.

Related: One small step, once every few years: when will Roland Emmerich stop going to space?

The whole thing is highly impressive. A bad situation presented itself and, without so much as breaking a sweat, Emmerich adapted and downscaled and, by the look of it, had a lovely time. Perhaps, in fact, this is the future of the premiere party. Compared to the actual Moonfall party, the original plans reek of waste and hubris. Why spend all that money putting on a show of might to hundreds of people who don’t really want to be there when you could just grab the people who mean the most to you and put the show on at home?

Honestly, it doesn’t really matter. Am I less likely to go and see Moonfall because I know it was commemorated with a small party instead of a big party? No. My commitment to Moonfall remains unchanged, in that I still plan to watch it for free on a streamer six months from now when I am drunk. And, really, that’s the important thing here.