Date of Birth: November 10, 1955
Emmerich began his career in his native Stuttgart, Germany. As a youth he pursued painting and
sculpting. While in the director's program at film school in Munich, his student film, The Noah's Ark
Principle, went on to open the 1984 Berlin Film Festival. It would also become the highest budgeted
film school examination film (DEM 1,000,000) in Germany. The feature became a huge success and was
sold to more than 20 countries.
Emmerich subsequently formed his own production company, Centropolis Film Productions, and under its
aegis, he produced his movies. His next film was Making Contact (a.k.a. Joey), about a boy suffering
from his father's death who finds a way to communicate with him via his toys. The movie showcased the
young filmmaker's vast knowledge of special effects and his propensity to use them.
His next film was Ghost Chase, a comedy he co-wrote with Oliver Eberle about two young film fanatics
and their struggle for success in Hollywood. Emmerich also served as producer on Eye of the Storm,
which starred Dennis Hopper. He went on to direct the futuristic action-adventure Moon 44, which he
co-wrote with Oliver Eberle, starring Michael Pare, Malcolm McDowell, Lisa Eichhorn and Dean Devlin.
Emmerich decided to remain with the sci-fi genre for his next four films, all of which became big
money makers. First, he directed the 1992 action-adventure Universal Soldier, starring Jean-Claude
Van Damme. He would then go on to helm 1994's epic science fiction adventure StarGate, which he
also co-wrote. In 1996 Emmerich would strike gold with the box office phenomenon Independence Day,
which he directed, executive produced and co-wrote. He also directed, executive produced and co-wrote the big budget ($125 million) Godzilla (1998), which earned over $135 million at the domestic box office.
Emmerich has been nicknamed Das Spielbergle aus Sindelfingen which is German for "Little Spielberg
from Sindelfingen." He also lists The Poseidon Adventure (1972), The Towering Inferno (1974) and
Earthquake (1974) as his favorite films.
With The Patriot (2000), Emmerich took on a completely different genre. Starring Mel Gibson, the film was a period piece, depicting the American Revolution. It grossed over $130 million domestically, and was shown worldwide as well. Emmerich returned to sci-fi for his next screenplay, The Day After Tomorrow (2004), which he also directed. Starring Dennis Quaid, the story revolves around a scientist who tries to save his son when the world is subjected to a new ice age.
10,000 BC (2008)
The Day After Tomorrow
Universal Soldier (1992)
Moon 44 (1990)
Des Arche Noah Prinzip (1984)