Big, city-engulfing explosions may be all the rage these days, what with the Avengers, the Transformers, and even Superman himself not shying away from some large-scale collateral damage, but the trend was started by a big dumb sci-fi back in the 90s, starring a young Will Smith who was charming and not preoccupied with launching his son’s career.
Independence Day was the highest-grossing film of 1996, earning $817 million worldwide, something that was unheard of those days. After the phenomenal success, Twentieth Century Fox handed writer Dean Devlin all the money ever to turn in a sequel. Devlin completed a draft, but didn’t submit it to Fox because he felt it didn’t live up to the original. Considering the original was a loud, Hollywoodized War of the Worlds ripoff, I wonder just how bad the script was.
Anyway, good news for everyone who isn’t tired of movies about aliens attacking big cities — director Ronald Emmerich is on board for a sequel. Two sequels, actually. Shot back-to-back ala Lord of the Rings.
The Independence Day 2 Movie sequel will be called ID Forever Part I and ID Forever Part II. They will take place twenty years after the events of the original, when a second wave of the alien race comes for REVENGE! What took them so long? Well, it took time for the distress signal to arrive at their planet, assuming they live on a planet.
Independence Day 2 movie Cast
Bill Pullman has said that he’s appearing in the film. He told Crave Online in January 2013:
I’m not in an old age home in a wheelchair being wheeled out for one more moment. It’s a very interesting conception of what happens to Whitmore between then and when it picks back up.
Sadly, Will Smith isn’t returning to welcome the aliens to earf one last time. Emmerich told NY Daily News:
Will Smith cannot come back because he’s too expensive, but he’d also be too much of a marquee name. It would be too much.
It’s rumored that he wanted $50 million for the two sequels but Fox felt the money would be better spent on CGI explosions. Emmerich added:
We have like maybe half of the people that you would know from the first film, and the other half are people who are new.
Some of the rumors about the plot suggest that one of these “new” characters will be the stepson of Smith’s character from the original. Will he be played by the great Jaden Smith? *shudder*
The first sequel is currently scheduled to release on July 3, 2015.
What’s Good About it
The original was a cheesy but entertaining action film with special effects that were mind blowing back then. If they’re able to recreate the same kind of excitement somehow, then we may get another big hit. Audiences have shown with Avatar that they’ll reward spectacle over substance.
What’s Bad About it
No Will Smith. The genre is tired now. We’ve had many alien invasions in Spielberg’s War of the Worlds, Battle: Los Angeles, not to mention the new wave of superhero films. In fact, we moved from invasions to an alien evacuation movie in District 9. Why are we not getting a sequel to that?
Our Clever Prediction
It’s Ronald Emmerich, the guy also behind The Day After Tomorrow, and 2012, so there will be destruction of Biblical proportions. I don’t know how he’ll upstage his previous films, but I know he’ll somehow do it. Maybe make the whole planet explode? Rip off the story from Titan A.E.? The explosions will guarantee a healthy opening weekend, but I don’t see it going beyond $1 billion.
While most destruction in movies today is done by CGI, Independence Day relied mostly on practical effects for its mayhem. It holds the record for most miniature modelwork to appear in a film. Even the scene where New York is obliterated by an exploding fireball is done by blowing up a miniature city. They made the fire move sideways by turning the model upside down. [Source: Cracked.com, Tumblr]