WonderCon 08: 10,000 B.C.

Roland Emmerich makes pure popcorn movies. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as there’s definitely a place in film for that kind of entertainment. From Independence Day to The Day After Tomorrow, his movies are usually incredibly entertaining on first viewing but successively less-so when watched again and again. (The two exceptions to that rule… Godzilla, which sucked even on the first viewing, and The Patriot, which has actually held up really well.)

Emmerich’s newest film, 10,000 B.C. could go either way, but after the recent WonderCon preview I actually think it’ll be closer to The Patriot. The movie has looked amazing from the very first trailer, and the longer one they showed here continues that impression. This new footage made me even more interested as the spectacle was coupled with a stronger sense of story. The effects continue to impress, but we were given a glimpse of the love story at the film’s core. While I don’t think it’ll approach the emotional levels of The Patriot, it looks to have more heart than any of Emmerich’s other films.

Emmerich was joined onstage by the lovely and beguiling Camilla Belle and Steven Strait (who’s a guy so I don’t have any good adjectives for him.) When asked about a rumored connection to his previous Egyptian-themed film Stargate, Emmerich quickly shot it down. He said he’s very intrigued by Egyptian culture, but that the idea for this movie actually came from a Discovery Channel documentary on mammoths. “My detractors point to the visual fireworks,” Emmerich said, “but for me story is the priority.” He’ll have yet another chance to prove that when the movie opens next month.

10,000 B.C. opens March 7th.