‘Independence Day’ sequel is a go
After years of speculation, rumors, and false starts, Fox has officially greenlit a sequel to director and producer Roland Emmerich’s 1996 alien invasion blockbuster, Independence Day. Production is expected to begin soon, and the film is set for release on June 24, 2016, almost exactly twenty years to the day after the release of the original.
Now that the film is officially in the works, the filmmakers will turn to casting. According to Deadline, Will Smith is not expected to return. Emmerich is in negotiations to direct, and original producer Dean Devlin will also return.
Devlin first mentioned the possibility of a sequel more than a decade ago, following the September 11 attacks. Devlin and Emmerich worked on the outline of a script that was heavily influenced by those events, but by 2004, the pair claimed they couldn’t figure out a way to make it work and dropped it. In 2011, Devlin then announced that he and Emmerich had figured things out, and would soon be returning to the property. They even considered making a pair of sequels, which would be shot back-to-back.
At this point, Smith was ruled out as the studio reportedly wasn’t willing to meet the actor’s asking price of $50 million for both films. According to Deadline, Fox only greenlit a single sequel, which could possibly create an opportunity for Smith to return. At the moment it seems unlikely though.
Given that the plan has changed from two films to one, that probably mean that all the story rumors that have already leaked are either moot, or they have been radically adapted. According to early rumors, the films would be titled ID Forever Part 1 and Part 2, and they would be set several years after the events of the original when alien reinforcements arrive. That may remain true, but details are probably in flux.
Bill Pullman and Jeff Goldblum were both confirmed to return and reprise their roles, but that was before the movie was actually greenlit. There will probably be a few further rewrites too. After all, if a single Mac laptop could lead to the total annihilation of the invading alien race in the original, what chance will the reinforcements have against a society with iPhones and iPads everywhere? They are screwed.
Once Emmerich’s deal is set, expect to start hearing casting news soon.