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Five things you should know about Independence Day 2

By Alex Wiggan

June 24th 2016. Save the date for that is when the sci-fi action movie sequel, Independence Day 2, hits screens (well at the least in the US anyway). Yep, we’re just over a year away from the release of Independence Day 2 and production is now underway.

Earlier this week, Independence Day 2 producer and co-writer Dean Devlin, shared a photo of himself and actor Jeff Goldblum with the caption ‘Hanging with David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) 20 years later is a dream come true! #IndependenceDay’.

Whilst the photo may have revealed absolutely nothing regarding plot details of the movie, it was at least comforting to know that the long gestating project is finally picking up momentum. After all, by the time the movie is released it will have been two decades since audiences sat down in cinemas to watch Independence Day.

So as anticipation for the movie continues to grow, what better time than now to take a look at what is known about Independence Day in the handy guide: Five things you should know about Independence Day 2.


Behind the scenes

German film director Roland Emmerich att

If you loved Independence Day (and frankly, why wouldn’t you?), then you’ll be pleased to know that Roland Emmerich is back on directing duties for Independence Day. Emmerich – whose credits include Stargate (1994), Godzilla (1998) and The Day After Tomorrow (2004) – is also a producer and writer on the movie.

Emmerich is being joined by the aforementioned Dean Devlin as writer/producer, whilst Harald Kloser is taking on a producer role and Carter Blanchard is the film’s third scribe. Markus Förderer is the cinematographer and Adam Wolfe is editing the movie. Independence Day 2 is being shot for a reported $200 million, which is around $125 million more than the budget of the original movie and filming began on the movie in April 2015. 20th Century Fox is distributing the film.


The story

Alien ship ID4

Story details on Independence Day 2 are sparse to say the very least, but what is clear (and pretty obvious) is the fact that the movie will involve another alien invasion. Early reports suggest the movie will be set around 15 years after Independence Day, but of course this may change to a 20 year timeframe to match the actual release date of the film.

Rotten Tomatoes is currently running the following movie synopsis:

‘We always knew they were coming back. After INDEPENDENCE DAY redefined the event movie genre, the next epic chapter delivers global catastrophe on an unimaginable scale. Using recovered alien technology, the nations of Earth have collaborated on an immense defence program to protect the planet. But nothing can prepare us for the aliens’ advanced and unprecedented force. Only the ingenuity of a few brave men and women can bring our world back from the brink of extinction.’


The cast

Jeff Goldblum

Despite the fact that it has been 20 years since the first movie appeared in cinemas, quite a number of the original cast are set to return for Independence Day 2, including Jeff Goldblum as David Levinson, Bill Pullman as former US President Thomas Whitmore, Judd Hirsch as Julius Levinson and Brent Spiner as Brackish Okun – a character who miraculously survived the events of the first movie.

Vivica A. Fox is also returning for the sequel, reprising her role as former stripper, Jasmine Dubrow. Speaking to in March 2015, Fox dropped a few details about what her character is up to in the sequel.

She said:

“I will not be on the pole. She was a stripper with a heart of gold, and who had said that she was doing it because the money was good. Now she’s a hospital administrator and she’s running the hospital and I’m glad that they moved her character forward as a woman.”

The most notable absentee from the cast list is Will Smith who will not be reprising his role of Captain Steven Hiller. However, Jessie Usher has been cast as Dylan Dubrow, the son of Captain Hiller, so expect at least one reference to daddy’s disappearance.

New cast members include Sela Ward as the President of the United States and Patrick St. Esprit as Secretary of Defense (Defence) Tanner. Liam Hemsworth has also been cast in Independence Day 2, but in an as yet unidentified role.


The aliens

Independence Day alien

In order to top Independence Day, the sequel needs another big threat which will put the world on the brink of destruction, right? Well yes, and it would seem that the threat may arrive in the form of an old foe, backing up the synopsis on Rotten Tomatoes.

In March 2015, Bloody said:

“In the follow up, alien reinforcements come to Earth 20 years after a distress call was sent out by the first wave of extraterrestrials.”

If Bloody Disgusting’s information is also on the nose, then it would suggest that the alien race from the first movie is heading back to Earth for the sequel. This information seems to tie in with previous reports on Independence Day 2 which have been doing the rumour mill for a long, long time.

As far back as the release of the original film, director Roland Emmerich has talked about potential storylines for the sequel, with the main suggestion being that the original aliens would return to Earth for round two of their war on terror.

Back in May 2013, Screen Rant ran a report on the status of the then-only-rumoured movie, with Emmerich revealing that he and Dean Devlin wanted to explore a little more of the back story of the alien race seen in the original movie. Emmerich’s initial ideas suggested that before the sequel went into production the movie would use the mythology of the original aliens as the backdrop, providing enough source material to run across several follow ups.

Emmerich said:

“That’s actually what we talked a lot about. The mythology of why did the aliens come in the first place, what is the bigger story of this whole thing? And we talked a lot about swarm intelligence. And (the humans) are individual intelligence. Even though we kill each other and have wars against each other, we have something special. We have this indomitable human spirit to believe in good and overcoming enemies. And it’s a little bit about that and when you get a bigger mythology going, I think then you have the chance to do not only one or two or three, but you can create a series and that’s what we want to do.”


The legacy

Alien ship

Now whilst the idea of a series of movies focusing on the aliens does sound plausible, it is probably best to point out that at present Independence Day 2 is the only sequel in production – there is no ID2 Part 2. Well not yet, anyway.

Whilst I’m sure there is an audience out there for a series of ID movies, 20th Century Fox will want to see how well the first sequel performs at the box office before green lighting any further movies. That being said, it doesn’t mean that there hasn’t been a fair bit of chitter-chatter regarding further movies.

What is perhaps more interesting is that the sequel will deal with the aftermath of the original film. I’m not just talking about the clean-up of the White House (which was destroyed in spectacular style in the first movie), I’m referring to the fact that the aliens were far more technologically advanced than the human race and they just happened to leave a lot of that tech lying around when they were defeated.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly in March 2013, Roland Emmerich, said:

“It’s a changed world. It’s like a parallel history. (Humans) have harnessed all this alien technology. We don’t know how to duplicate it because it is organically-grown technology, but we know how to take an antigravity device and put it in a human airplane.”

Now whilst Emmerich’s comments are a couple of years old, the suggestion that the human race would re-use the alien technology makes complete sense, so expect to see the legacy of Independence Day play out in the sequel.


So are you excited for Independence Day 2 or would you rather the original film remain as a standalone movie? Tell us your thoughts and we might just agree with you. Of course, we might not. We’re funny like that.


About Alex Wiggan: Alex Wiggan is still waiting for someone (somewhere) to green light a third Sister Act movie. Make it happen, people!


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