Summer 1996, before summer cinema meant back to back action blockbusters, I saw Independence Day at the movies four times. Aliens were as big in the 90’s as zombies were to the last decade (just ask Mulder and Scully!) and the film boasted epic special effects and a story line of global catastrophe that put mankind’s very survival in jeopardy. This amped up classic gave us an ass kicking, jet fighter President (Bill Pullman), Will Smith punching aliens and wise-cracking his butt off and that definitive image of the White house being destroyed by an alien death ray. A scene that has been parodied a thousand times, proving its impact.
The film had monsters, heroes, spaceships, explosions and a whole lot of heart, showing the effects of the alien threat on a vast scale, from the President of the United States to the small town family reacting to their impending doom. Now it is confirmed that the franchise is back and we should see it released this time next year. Director Roland Emmerich has been hinting at a possible sequel for years and now the movie is currently filming in New Mexico.
Collider have sourced a plot synopsis; “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 defense 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“.
When discussing his sequel idea in 2013 Emmerich said “It’s a changed world. It’s like parallel history. [Humans] have harnessed all this alien technology. We don’t know how to duplicate it because it’s organically-grown technology, but we know how to take an antigravity device and put it in a human airplane”. This certainly sounds like the story will focus on the recurring theme of human perseverance and victory against all odds that we love and expect. With a load of cool alien tech relishing the graphics!
Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Brent Spiner, Vivica A. Fox and Judd Hirsch will be returning for a second round, accompanied by Liam Hemsworth, Maika Monroe, Jessie Usher, Joey King, William Fichtner and Charlotte Gainsbourg. No Will Smith unfortunately, but an exiting assemblage none the less. I really hope the progenitor of action movies can live up to its legacy and more next summer.