The highly anticipated sequel to Will Smith’s blockbuster smash Independence Day will finally see the light of day after receiving the greenlight from Fox this week. The follow-up to the 1996 movie featuring Smith, Jeff Goldblum, and Bill Pullman is scheduled to begin production in May of next year with an expected release date around June 24, 2016 but could be pushed back one week to release on Independence Day weekend.
The 1996 box office smash featured Smith and Goldblum and others taking on an alien invasion. Smith played the role of a fighter pilot and Goldblum a computer programmer. Pullman played President Thomas J Whitmore, famously known for his rousing speech to the people of Earth. To the dismay of fans Will Smith is not expected to reprise his role. He has long since passed on appearing in a sequel. Goldblum and Pullman are reportedly in talks to reprise their roles for the sequel.
According to the New York Daily Post’s interview with Emmerich, Will Smith was too expensive to bring back and too much of a marquee name. Only time will tell if the sequel will miss Smith at the helm.
Casting is scheduled to begin once director, Roland Emmerich, has been locked in. Once Emmerich has signed on for the sequel, only one film is expected to be shot as opposed to speculation that two films could be shot back to back. A second may be shot, but is contingent on the success of the first release. The original two-part sequel was to be titled Independence Day Forever Part I and II.
Screenwriters, Nicolas Wright and James A. Woods, wrote the script while Carter Blanchard rewrote the initial draft done by Emmerich and producer Dean Devlin. Emmerich will be producing the movie along with Devlin and Harald Kloser. Devlin shared the news via his Twitter account on Wednesday.
No word is mentioned in regards to the plot for the sequel as Fox greenlights the Independence Day reboot, but it is expected that the alien race from the original movie will return disenchanted over the eradication of their comrades. The release of the film is slated for the weekend before the July 4 weekend marking the film’s 20th anniversary when the original grossed over $811 million worldwide. It was the second highest grossing film ever at the time. A deluge of super hero movies to hit the big screen since has pushed the original down the list to 43.
The sequel does stand the chance of not doing so well. The typical format of the movie is alien comes to earth and is eventually defeated by the human race. Not much development room is left for the story line like in the case of the Star Wars films. ID4 will have to offer up refreshing and deeper exploration of what makes the franchise so compelling. The movie could also use a rallying cry from Pullman to bring the people out that Independence Day.
There has been no shortage of sequels as Fox greenlit Independence Day. Recently a sequel to Blade Runner has been announced and Mrs. Doubtfire 2 was in the works before Robin Williams’ death. Jurassic World, Terminator Genisys, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens are also reboots of 80’s and 90’s movies. Fox greenlit the sequel to Independence Day and if it can gross similar numbers as the original a third installment likely would be in the works.
By Stevenson Benoit
Photo by Beverly & Pack – Flickr License