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Moonfall Director Roland Emmerich Reveals Which Of His Movies Is His Favorite - Exclusive

Since launching his career in 1984 with "The Noah's Ark Principle," which he wrote and directed while still in film school, Roland Emmerich has directed a total of 18 feature films. Sticking largely with the sci-fi genre since making his Hollywood debut on 1992's "Universal Soldier," Emmerich is best known for his large-scale, apocalyptic disaster movies, including "Independence Day," "2012" and his latest effort, "Moonfall," which has just arrived in theaters.

The German-born filmmaker has also taken some side roads as well, getting behind the camera for the political action thriller "White House Down," recreating one of World War II's greatest battles in "Midway," and chronicling (albeit not very successfully) one of the turning points in the history of LGBTQ+ rights with "Stonewall."

Whatever his flaws as a director — and both critics and audiences are quick to say that he has plenty, judging from their responses to his body of work — Emmerich seems to genuinely love making movies and likes to swing for the fences with either big ideas, big visuals or both. Out of his 18 finished films to date, does he have one that stands out above the rest for him personally? Or are they all like his children, with no single one getting preferential treatment? "I have a favorite," he tells Looper.

Roland Emmerich's favorite Roland Emmerich movie might surprise you

It's not "Independence Day" or "The Day After Tomorrow." Roland Emmerich says that his favorite of all his films is "Anonymous," a 2011 period conspiracy thriller which advanced the theory that Edmund de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford and a noted playwright and poet of the late 16th century, was the true author of the plays attributed to William Shakespeare.

Although the theory has been dismissed by most historians and students of Shakespeare's works, it has persisted as the most popular alternate history of the authorship of the Bard's bibliography. Emmerich tells us that he likes the movie due to its celebration of the power of the written word, along with the idea that some of our culture's greatest works of art were created in relative anonymity.

"It says something about the pen being mightier than the sword," he explains about the film, which also details various palace intrigues involving the Earl (Rhys Ifans), the Queen and others in England's aristocratic circles. "The guy who actually wrote all that (Shakespeare's plays) will never ever be named. Everybody knows Shakespeare and maybe Queen Elizabeth, but everybody else is forgotten."

"Anonymous" was a non-starter at the box office and got a mixed reception from critics but stands out as a bit of a departure from the rest of Emmerich's movies. Asked if there are any of his films that he would like to do over if he had the chance, the director is clear.

"No, not really," he says. "I think I'm pretty happy with all my movies. Some are better. You always strive for excellence, and you're always nervous about a movie coming out. Sometimes you have a hit. Sometimes you have a failure. I'm really used to that, so I'm getting calmer and calmer about that."

"Moonfall" is in theaters now, while "Anonymous" can be found on Amazon Prime.