Roland Emmerich directed and produced the 2004 hit movie The Day After Tomorrow . He directed and executive produced the historical epic The Patriot , starring Mel Gibson. He also directed and produced Godzilla and Independence Day , and co-wrote both films with producer Dean Devlin. Emmerich helmed 1994's science-fiction adventure Stargate , which he also co-wrote with Devlin, the film's producer. Emmerich's first American film was the 1992 action adventure hit Universal Soldier , starring Jean-Claude Van Damme. He also produced Eight Legged Freaks , The Thirteenth Floor and Trade .
Emmerich began his career in his native Germany. As a youth, he pursued painting and sculpting. He studied production design at film school in Munich. His student film, The Noah's Ark Principle , went on to open the 1984 Berlin Film Festival. The feature became a success and was sold to more than 20 countries.
Emmerich subsequently formed his own production company, Centropolis Film Productions, and under its aegis produced Making Contact (a.k.a. Joey ), a film showcased the young filmmaker's vast knowledge of special effects; and Ghost Chase , a comedy he co-wrote with Oliver Eberle. Emmerich went on to direct the action-adventure Moon 44 , which he co-wrote with Eberle and which starred Malcolm McDowell, Michael Pare, Lisa Eichhorn and Dean Devlin.