Roland Emmerich is a man of many catastrophes. In most instances, he’s stood by to dramatize and chronicle calamity, from an anti-American alien invasion to a gigantic irradiated lizard-monster attack to weather-event cataclysms to biblical weather-event cataclysms. On a handful of occasions, Emmerich himself has been the disaster, causing just as much metaphorical wreckage with the hilariously awful Anonymous, Stonewall, and Independence Day: Resurgence as his various hurricanes and spaceships have caused literal. And yet through it all, Rollie’s continued to forge ahead, improbably wrangling the money for yet another new feature.

Variety reported that Emmerich will direct the upcoming war film Midway, a retelling of World War II’s Battle of Midway in the South Pacific. The film doomed to a lifetime of being referred to as Not Dunkirk tracks the decisive naval scuffle in which U.S. code-crackers ascertained the coordinates of Japanese ships on the offensive and decimated the fleet in one of the tipping points for Allied forces in the Pacific theater. Reportedly, the script treatment (from a former writer on TV‘s Colony, Wes Tooke) places the focus on the aviators and sea-level soldiers in the heat of battle.

Emmerich’s been on a real cold streak as of late, and as anyone who’s seen Michael Bay’s Pearl Harbor knows, reworking true accounts of grave historical events is a game rife with potential for screw-ups. At this point, the only thing suggesting that Emmerich’s capable of creating a competent blockbuster is that he did so around 15 years ago. This will be a chance for him to re-prove that he’s still got the magic.

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