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by Ryan Rigley

What do you get when you take "Die Hard" and "Air Force One" and smash them both together? Why, Roland Emmerich's next blockbuster of course!

Enter "White House Down," a movie that's being described as "Die Hard" in the White House. Not much is known about the project other than its premise as a "paramilitary takeover of the White House."

Of course, those of you who know Emmerich will note that this isn't the first time that the director has tackled this presidential palace... in fact, arguably one of the most famous scenes in Emmerich's entire career involved a huge alien spaceship blowing up the White House and everyone left inside. Which has us thinking, how much cooler would "White House Down" be if it were secretly an "Independence Day" sequel?


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Anyone familiar with director Roland Emmerich's body of work should be able to pick up on a few common threads, namely explosions, disasters, big speeches and general epicness. After directing such large-scale thrillers like "The Day After Tomorrow," "Godzilla" and "2012," Emmerich's decision to direct a film about Shakespeare as he does in "Anonymous" is a surprising choice.

Yes, Bill Pullman's "Our Independence Day" soliloquy before the dog fight against the invading aliens could be described as Shakespearan, but we're still missing the connection between the Bard and the man who froze all of New York City and populated it with ravenous wolves. There must be something we're missing, right?

To make the connection between Roland Emmerich films and William Shakespeare a little clearer, we here at MTV News have combined the two to help the transition to "Anonymous" easier to swallow. With some help from the Prithee Players, we have recreated some of the most memorable moments from Emmerich's film and given them a Shakespearean makeover. Watch scenes from "Universal Soldier," "Stargate," "The Day After Tomorrow" and "ID4" with some thee's and thou's added for extra class and refinement. Maybe now we can see that the Shakespearean influence has been there all along!


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As someone who knows his way around special effects, director Roland Emmerich could be a great candidate to use the digital aging technology that has been used for special effects in films like "The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button," "Watchmen" and "X-Men 3."

The subject came up when MTV News caught up with Emmerich at the Toronto Film Festival to talk about his upcoming period thriller, "Anonymous," which employs two sets of actors to play the same roles at different ages. We asked Emmerich if he might be interested in de-aging an actor digitally, or even better/more challenging, bringing one back from the dead, FX re-animator, lost footage style and he revealed he's already at work on a movie that relies heavily on that very technology.

"I am. I'm totally into that," Emmerich admitted. "I have one project which actually tries to do that, but I think we're not there yet. I made some tests that didn't turn out very well, so I think we have to wait another five years."

And what might the mystery project be?

"The title will tell you everything, it's called 'Happy Birthday Mr. President.'"


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"Super 8" spoiler-phobes, you might want to look away from this one. A brand new viral clip centered on this weekend's big release has hit the web, giving plenty of details on the monstrous menace at the core of the mystery. Though you still won't see the film's central antagonist in its entirety, you'll learn a whole lot about it — and, yes, even see a glimpse or two of the thing itself. As I said, be warned… but if your curiosity can't wait until after you've seen the movie, well, all you gotta do is press play on the video below.

Check out the rest of today's biggest movie news after the jump, including Damon Lindelof's biggest post-"Lost" assignment to date and some potential changes in store for "The Hangover Part II" DVD release!


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Arnold SchwarzeneggerArnold Schwarzenegger already has "The Governator" in the pipeline, but it seems the project that will finally get him back on the big screen is almost locked and loaded.

Movieweb reports that Schwarzenegger might star in Kim Ji-Woon's "The Last Stand." Slash Film hears similarly, reporting that the returning actor would star as "a lone border sheriff tasked with stopping an escaped drug dealer from crossing into Mexico in a super car." The movie was originally supposed to star fellow elder ass-kicker Liam Neeson, but he dropped out of the project.

Schwarzenegger isn't officially on board just yet, but it's hard to not get excited about the possibility. No-nonsense cops? Escaped drug dealers? Super cars?! The man was made for this sort of thing!

Check out the rest of today's news from the movie industry, including a Sylvester Stallone-Walter Hill collaboration, the new title for "Rise of the Apes," the trailer for Roland Emmerich's latest, stills from "Fright Night" are released and "Attack the Block" finally gets a distributor.


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Roland EmmerichIn a move that rips the hearts clean out of the chests of extraterrestrial enthusiasts and "Independence Day" fans all over the world, it appears that Roland Emmerich is not getting into "The Zone" for his next movie.

The Hollywood Reporter states that the found-footage alien movie has been canceled with one week to go before shooting was set to start. The reasons are a bit murky, though one possible explanation lies in the fact that "the found-footage trope is becoming overplayed."

Is it becoming overplayed? That depends on your tastes, really, but there's certainly no shortage of found-footage movies out there, even if Emmerich isn't getting in on the party. After the jump, check out our roundup of films from that genre. Read More...

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Roland EmmerichIt's not "Independence Day 2" -- at least we don't think it is -- but director Roland Emmerich is heading back to the alien-invasion genre for the super-secret, small-budget flick "The Zone."

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film will cost a mere $5 million to make and employ the "found footage" approach first introduced by 1999's "The Blair Witch Project" and recently popularized by "Cloverfield" and the "Paranormal" activity flicks.

Plot details are scant at this point, and the movie will reportedly star unknown actors. In fact, word on the street is that the two leads -- a world-weary journalist in his 40s or 50s and a black cameraman in his early-to-mid-20s -- have just been cast, with an eye to begin filming in mid-November. Read More...

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Last fall, Ronald Emmerich kicked us news that not only did he still have plans for an "Independence Day" sequel, but that he had ideas for two sequels, and LOL-worthy titles for each: "ID4-ever: Part I" and "ID4-ever: Part II."

When we checked in with the director in February of this year as he was promoting the DVD for "2012," we asked for some "ID4-ever" plot details. And, much to our surprise, he delivered. Yet we haven't published Emmerich's thoughts until now. Sorry! First off, he describes the story — which would be set in the present day, over a decade after the alien invasion of the original film — as an "alternate reality" film.

"It's an alternate reality kind of movie," he said. "We pick up the story, what would have happened after this kind of attack? Naturally, the alien technology has changed everything." Read More...

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Filmmaker Roland Emmerich is known best for the joy he takes in raining Armageddon down on the unsuspecting natives of the planet Earth. How odd then that the next project he's tackling is "Anonymous," which deals with a certain conspiracy theory concerning famed playwright William Shakespeare.

We spoke last weekend with Rhys Ifans, who was recently cast in "Anonymous" as the Earl of Oxford, the man believed by some to be the real author of the works credited to Shakespeare. Ifans is excited about the gig, both because he'll work with Emmerich and he'll piss a lot of people off.

"It's a story that asks the question and goes a long way to answering it: the theory, conspiracy theory if you like, that William Shakespeare was not necessarily the author of all, if any, of his works," Ifans said of the basic plot. "So it will put a glorious [wrench] in... the English-speaking world of academia, which I have always endeavored to do, since I was a schoolchild." Read More...

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Is it crazy to say "2012" — a film about the fire- and tsunami-strewn obliteration of planet Earth as we know it — was one of the most fun theatrical experiences of the year? The audience at the screening I caught in mid-February was hooting and hollering at each successive catastrophe, gleefully ignoring the cataclysmic loss of life because the whole thing was just so darn fun. Was it kinda silly? Sure. But chuck away any sense of realism and it was an amazing big screen spectacle that had to make you smile.

The rest of the world certainly agreed. Director Roland Emmerich's disaster-film-to-end-all-disaster-films grossed almost $770 million worldwide. With the "2012" DVD arriving in stores on Tuesday (March 2), Emmerich gave MTV News a call to chat about the challenges of CGI filmmaking, an alternate ending he almost inserted in the final cut and the kooky conspiracy theorists he met while promoting the film. Read More...

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