The Noah’s Ark Principle | Das Arche Noah Prinzip

This German science fiction film from 1984 is the directorial debut of famous Hollywood blockbuster director Roland Emmerich. With a budget of about 1 million DM (today around € 930.000), which he was able to raise for the production, he completely exceeded usual budgets for graduate films, at that time estimated around 20.000 DM. The film was extremely successful as it was sold to over 20 countries and took part in the 1984 Berlinale Competition, where it had its world premiere.


The year 1997. 189 kilometres above the earth. The Euro-American space station Florida Arklab set out to research how weather can be successfully manipulated. In order to prevent weather-related catastrophes on earth, the two astronauts and sole crew Max Marek and Billy Hayes are trying to influence weather events by the means of a newly developed radiation technology. However, when a revolution suddenly breaks out in Saudi Arabia, the technology is to be misused for US military purposes. When they find out that US military takes ground control of the station, Hayes and Marek attempt to sabotage the system in order to prevent severe natural disasters. As a result, the station’s reactor system is damaged.

Ground control dispatches two astronauts – Eva Thompson, Max’s partner, and Gregor Vandenberg – to Florida Arklab to take command of the station itself. Gregor is on secret order to carry out further radiation, even if it means using force against the rest of the crew and ignoring all catastrophic consequences. A murderous race against time begins…

About Roland Emmerich

Director, screenwriter and producer Roland Emmerich was born in Stuttgart, Germany, in 1955. In 1977 he began studying at the University of Television and Film in Munich, initially with a focus on set design. After he had seen “Star Wars“, however, and was deeply impressed with it, he switched to directing. His graduation film was “The Noah’s Ark Principle” (German title: “Das Arche Noah Prinzip“), a movie with an unusually large budget and uncommon genre: opulently staged sci-fi films from Germany were rather unheard of at the time.

In the following years Roland Emmerich produced films like “Joey“, “Hollywood Monster” and “Moon 44” – still in Germany, but in English language and with an international cast, which is how he was able to attract attention in Hollywood. In 1992 he realized his first Hollywood film and final breakthrough, the science fiction movie “Universal Soldier” starring Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren. With the equally successful Stargate of 1994, later developed into a TV series, he set a monument to his interest in ancient astronautics and the theories of Erich von Däniken.

1996 brought “Independence Day“, the highlight of his career and a blockbuster which ranks as one of the most commercially successful films to date. “Godzilla” followed in 1998, a new interpretation of the classic Japanese monster films. With “The Patriot” from the year 2000, which takes place in 1776 during the American Revolution, Emmerich also tried his hand at a historical theme. After several years of mainly producing, he returned to the director’s chair in 2004 with “The Day After Tomorrow“, a classic disaster film. He remained true to the genre with 2012, released in 2009, and concluded: “It’s the mother of all destruction films, with effects like you’ve never seen before. I really wouldn’t know what to destroy after that.”

He subsequently devoted himself to various other genres: in 2008 his adventure film “10.000 B.C.” was released worldwide and in 2011 the film “Anonymous“, a historical drama about the authorship of the works of William Shakespeare. At the end of 2012, Emmerich shot the action thriller “White House Down“, which premiered in June 2013. In 2015 the historical drama “Stonewall” about the gay riots in New York in 1969 saw its release, a film very close to the heart of the homosexual director.

Having been not nearly as successful in the box office as his disaster films, he went on to shoot the sequel “Independence Day 2: Return” in 2016, which didn’t find much critical acclaim but was profitable nonetheless. His last major directing project so far has been “Midway – For Freedom“, a World War II drama from 2019.

Roland Emmerich, who married his long-term partner in 2017, lives in Los Angeles, London and Berlin.

Original title: Das Arche Noah Prinzip

Director: Roland Emmerich

Book: Roland Emmerich

Actors: Richy Müller, Franz Buchrieser, Aviva Joel, Matthias Fuchs, Nikolas Lansky, Matthias Heller

Producers: Wolfgang Längsfeld, Hans Weth, Peter Zenk

Co-producers: Bernd Eichinger, Roland Emmerich

Cinematography: Egon Werdin

Editing: Tomy Wigand

Production design: Oleg Mustafin

Art departement: Ina Becker, Cornelia Hopfmann

Special effects: Jacques Engels, Guido Görisch, Thomas Herbrich, Egon Werdin

Visual effects: Thomas Merker

Camera & technical departement: Annette Deiters, Ernst Gschwind, Sepp Kopp, Arnold Reidelhuber, Herbert Umbrecht, Klaus Witting

Costunes: Matthias Heller, Dorota Mazurkiewics

Makeup: Monika Schoel

Music: Hubert Bartholomae


Production companies: Centropolis Film Productions, Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film München (HFF), Maran Film, Solaris Film, Süddeutscher Rundfunk (SDR)

Year of production: 1984

Genres: Science-Fiction, Drama

Country: Germany

Language: German


Lenght: 100 Min

Rating: FSK 12

Aspect Ratio: 2.35 : 1

Sound: Stereo

Resolution: Full HD

More titels:

Französisch: Le principe de l’Arche de Noé

Spanisch: El principio del arca de Noé

Russisch: Принцип Ноева ковчега

Japanisch: スペースノア

Film label: U8 Films Berlin

Blu-Ray & DVD start: February 19, 2021

VoD start: February 19, 2021

About Richy Müller as Billy

Richy Müller was born as Hans-Jürgen Müller in Mannheim, Germany, in 1955. After school he became a toolmaker, then attended acting school in Bochum before relocating to Berlin. He had his breakthrough as an actor in 1979 with the role of the homeless teenager Richy in the television three-parter “Die große Flatter“. It was then that he adopted the name Richy as his stage name. Further film and TV roles followed, mostly as a rough-and-ready daredevil, such as in Reinhard Hauff‘s “Der Mann auf der Mauer“, Roland Emmerich‘s “The Noah’s Ark Principle” and Egon Günther’s “Rosamunde“. In order to avoid type-casting, he increasingly turned to the theatre during the 1980s.

Mit Rainer Kaufmanns “Einer meiner ältesten Freunde” kehrte er 1994 zum Film zurück. Seitdem ist er in Charakterrollen unterschiedlicher Genres zu sehen, so unter anderem in “Irren ist männlich” von “Sherry Hormann“, “Die innere Sicherheit” von Christian Petzold und in “Vier Minuten” von Chris Kraus. Für seine Rolle als Gutsverwalter in Chris Kraus’ Spielfilm “Poll” (2010) wurde er 2011 mit dem Deutschen Filmpreis für die “beste männliche Nebenrolle” ausgezeichnet. Neben der Schauspielerei begeistert sich Richy Müller für den Motorsport, fährt Autorennen und war TV-Experte im Rahmen der Fernsehübertragung der “24 Stunden von Le Mans“.

He returned to film in 1994 with Rainer Kaufmann‘s “One of My Oldest Friends“. Since then he has starred in various genre films, including “Father’s Day” by Sherry Hormann, “The State I Am” In by Christian Petzold and “Four Minutes” by Chris Kraus. In 2011 he was awarded the German Film Prize for “best supporting actor” for his role as an estate manager in Chris Kraus‘ feature film “The Poll Diaries” (2010). In addition to acting, Müller has a passion for motor sports, participates in car races and acts as TV expert for the the “24 Hours of Le Mans”.

Das Arche Noah Prinzip | Trailer (deutsch) ᴴᴰ


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Comments about the movie

„Given the comparatively low budget, it is a technically astonishing sci-fi film that cannot deny the influence of its predecessors (…)  (Lexikon des internationalen Films)

Roland Emmerich’s graduate film already shows the director’s later proclivity towards opulent sci-fi blockbusters such as “Independence Day” or “The Day After Tomorrow” and is a visual feat despite the comparatively low production value. It was perhaps most prominently influenced by Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey”. (

Technical datas

Blu-Ray | Aspect ratio: WS 2.35:1 / 1080p 23,976 | Running time: approx. 100 min | Audio format: German DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1/2.0; English DD 5.1/2.0 | Extras: Trailer, picture gallery, artwork gallery, film program, publicity blurb, poster photos, audio commentary by Hubert Bartholme and more. | Rating: FSK 12

DVD | Aspect Ratio: WS 2.35:1 (anamorphic) | Running Time: approx. 96 min | Audio format: German DD 5.1/2.0; English DD 5.1/2.0 | Extras: Trailer, picture gallery, artwork gallery, film program, publicity blurb, poster photos, audio commentary by Hubert Bartholme uvm. | Rating: FSK 12


“The Noah’s Ark Principle” by Roland Emmerich available everywhere as of today

Roland Emmerich’s graduation film “The Noah’s Ark Principle” (German: “Das Arche Noah Prinzip”) at the Munich Academy of Film and Television (HFF Müchen), which already shows the preference of the later director of lavish blockbusters like “Independence Day” and “The Day after Tomorrow” for science fiction, is now released on the label U8 Films Berlin…

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