Moonfall: A new Halle Berry film explores moon conspiracy theories – but why are some people so determined not to believe? | Ents & Arts News

*** This story contains spoilers for Moonfall ***

Legendary disaster filmmaker Roland Emmerich says he dove deep into the craziest moon conspiracy theories to come up with the plot for his new film, Moonfall.

Speaking to Sky News, he said: “I [initially] I read the book “Who Built the Moon”, which inspired this whole movie, but then I chose a different theory as to why the moon is there and had to dive deep into the conspiracy of it …”

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Halle Berry and Patrick Wilson star in Moonfall, a new movie about lunar conspiracy theories

The filmmaker, who brought us Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow, has made a career out of coming up with inventive new ways to put everyone on the planet at risk.

His latest action offering, featuring Halle Berry as old Nasa astronaut Jo Fowler, sees the moon knocked out of orbit by a mysterious force, hurtling towards Earth and, in the ultimate plot twist – spoiler alert – we learn that this is not the natural satellite that we all thought he was.

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“We’re not the only intelligent life” – Halle Berry

“I always thought the science had to build on this stuff because it’s crazy, so crazy, that we have to work really hard on this,” Emmerich said.

On screen, films such as Moonfall might provide some much-needed escapism, but in reality, the murky world of internet conspiracy theories and misinformation is another matter altogether. Outlandish claims online can now spread farther than ever.

But NASA has been hounded since man set foot on the moon, fueled by films such as 1978’s Capricorn One – one of the first space films to sow the seeds of government hoaxes.

John Bradley, Patrick Wilson and Halle Berry star in Moonfall
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Game Of Thrones star John Bradley appears in the film alongside Wilson and Berry

In 2016, Stanley Kubrick’s daughter debunked the internet legend by releasing a statement to clarify that while her father may have directed 2001: A Space Odyssey, he did not direct the movie. landing. It was an attempt to put an end to decades-old conspiracy theories that he helped bring about the ultimate fake.

According to former NASA chief historian Roger Launius, “people love to poke fun” at the biggest event in the history of the Space Agency.

“It doesn’t surprise me that people question, troll if you will, the moon landing. The internet has allowed many things to proliferate, no doubt, and moon hoax conspiracy theories are one of this process.”

MOONFALL, Roland Emmerich, Montreal 2020. Photo: Rainer Bajo
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Director Roland Emmerich says he took a “deep dive” into conspiracy theories for the film. Photo: Rainer Bajo

So why – in the face of an extraordinary amount of evidence – are some people so determined not to believe?

Dr Daniel Jolley, an assistant professor in social psychology at the University of Nottingham, has studied conspiracy theories and believes there is a potential conspiracy theorist in all of us. He says personality and environment definitely come into play.

“It’s when we feel uncertain, when we feel unsafe, that it can lead us to conspiracy theorizing. Blaming the world’s problems on a powerful secret group can arguably make us feel a little better… but of course that then increases our distrust because you then believe that there are powerful people out there out to get you, so while you’re trying to figure out this complex event it actually leads you to believe other theories of the conspiracy.”

However, Moonfall’s leading lady, Berry, insists it’s important to keep an open mind.

Speaking to Sky News, she said: “I don’t think anyone’s beliefs are weird. I’m always open to what other people think and their views.”

Moonfall is now out in theaters

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