Director Roland Emmerich last delved into the historical realm with 2015’s Stonewall, and now he’s returned to putting his stamp on real-life events through his World War II movie Midway, which chronicles the bombing of Pearl Harbor at the end of 1941 and the Battle of Midway that occurred half a year later. Dennis Quaid is one of the main members of this ensemble cast, and when recently speaking with CinemaBlend, he gave the following explanation for why the Battle of Midway was so important for the United States:
As Dennis Quaid noted, The Battle of Midway marked a major turning point for the U.S.’s involvement in World War II. Six months after Pearl Harbor was bombed, the event that finally led to the U.S. entering World War II (two years after the gigantic conflict began), the U.S. and Japanese naval forces clashed from June 4 to June 7 1942 in the Pacific Theater, and the U.S. emerged victorious, thus turning the tide of the Pacific War aspect of World War II.
Obviously the U.S. had been embroiled in various World War II battles in the six months ahead of the Battle of Midway, but that victory has gone down as one of the greatest naval engagements in world history. So what would’ve happened if the U.S. had lost the Battle of Midway? Here’s what Dennis Quaid had to say on the matter:
If we had lost Midway, the war would’ve been a very, very different… could’ve gone on for another five years. Who knows what would’ve happened? We could’ve lost. We could.
While that might be a subject worth covering in an alternate history tale, Roland Emmerich’s Midway is a relatively faithful adaptation of what went down in real life. Although as is traditionally the case with historical films, there are some creative liberties taken to streamline the story and make it more digestible for audiences.
Made with a $100 million budget, Midway, which Roland Emmerich first announced he was directing back in 2017 (although he’d pitched making it at Sony in the ‘90s), is one of the most expensive independent movies ever made. Emmerich was unable to get a major studio to bankroll the project, so he sought funding from individual sources, which added up to $76 million, plus $24 million in equity from many Chinese investors.
Dennis Quaid appears in Midway as Vice Admiral William Halsey Jr., who was initially named commander of the South Pacific Area and was later named commander of the Third Fleet for the rest of World War II. Quaid is joined in Midway by Ed Skrein, Patrick Wilson, Luke Evans, Aaron Eckhardt, Nick Jonas, Mandy Moore, Woody Harrelson, Darren Criss and many others.