Bill Pullman Confirms ‘Independence Day 2′ Return; Sequel Could Happen Without Will Smith

Published 2 years ago by , Updated January 10th, 2013 at 6:03 am,

Bill Pullman Independence Day 2 Interview Bill Pullman Confirms Independence Day 2 Return; Sequel Could Happen Without Will Smith

Bill Pullman plays the President of the United States in the new NBC comedy series 1600 Penn, but movie fans know that it’s not the first time the actor has occupied the Oval Office onscreen. Pullman famously played a U.S. president trying to thwart an alien invasion in Roland Emmerich’s 1996 sci-fi blockbuster Independence Day, and a sequel to the film has been rumored for the nearly two decades since that time.

In the last year, we’ve heard from Emmerich and producer Dean Devlin about a two-part story that would be covered in sequel films titled Independence Day Forever Part 1 and Independence Day Forever Part 2; Pullman is now confirming his involvement with that project, and even reveals a plan to proceed with or without the involvement of franchise star, Will Smith.

Crave Online  caught up with Pullman during a party for 16oo Penn, where the actor confirmed that he is onboard for Independence Day Forever, and that production could be getting underway very soon:

Within a year, yeah, something like that I guessI worried about taking this part because it’s [1600 Penn] heating up. I thought, ‘I don’t know if I should do the comedy’ and I talked to Dean [Devlin] and Roland [Emmerich] and they said, “No, do it. We’ll work around it. If it goes, we’ll work around it.

The situation with Will Smith, as described by Pullman, is that the filmmakers have two versions of the story laid out – one with Smith’s character, one without. Pullman is at the very least happy with the role his character, President Thomas J. Whitmore, plays in either version of the story:

“The Will Smith part of it may be ongoing but I think there’s strategies for both. I like what I have to do in both of them. 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.”

When last seen, Whitmore returned to his Air Force roots, leading the aerial strike against the invading alien force. Thanks to help from Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum’s characters (and a final banzai charge by Randy Quaid) the aliens were defeated, presumably making Whitmore the most heroic Commander-in-chief in U.S. (and world) history. There are plenty of great places to take that character arc, no doubt (forgotten hero? Overly militant leader paranoid of another attack?) – but the prospect of this next chapter appealing to audiences WITHOUT Will Smith involved seems like a slim one.

independence day will smith Bill Pullman Confirms Independence Day 2 Return; Sequel Could Happen Without Will Smith

Will Smith in ‘Independence Day’

Even Pullman is careful to acknowledge that until Independence Day Forever actually makes it into theaters, nothing is certain: “Nobody’s holding their breath because it’s been continually plagued.”

Indeed, this is one of those long-running projects that always seems to be close to the starting line, only to vanish from the track entirely. Even if the film makes into theaters in time for a 2014 or 2015 release, that’ll have been nearly two decades (and several new generations of movie goers) between ID4‘s era of relevance and the present. The under-twenty crowd will likely be left scratching their heads, wondering what all the fuss is about in the first place….

As always, we’ll keep you updated on the status of Independence Day Forever.

Source: Crave Online


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  1. “Independence Day Forever”? Geez, gotta have the name in the title, so the dumb masses will know it’s a SEQUEL, right? Why can’t you sell the movie based on its own merits? And if you can’t, then maybe it shouldn’t be made.

  2. No point in making a sequel regardless. If your going to have one and bring back everyone except for the main character, that doesn’t make sense.

    • But Smith wasn’t the main character. Smith was one of many main characters. He’s just the one that everyone remembers because he’s the only one that’s had such a big profile since. I’d say Pullman, Goldblum and (arguably) Quaid were all on equal footing in the original movie. It would be great if all three characters were back, but two out of three could work. It depends on how good the story is.

  3. What was Will Smith’s biggest accomplishment in ID4? Marrying a stripper pole dancer and operating an alien aircraft that would maybe take eons to understand but he managed to press buttons and luckily get it going? Gimme a break! Goldblum and Pullmans roles were way more important than WS’s (just saying). They should bring in Jamie Foxx since he did take WSs role in Django Unchained in the next sequels and make WS regret not sticking around.

    I have enjoyed Will Smith in some of his movies and loved Fresh Prince but overall I feel he is overrated and Hollywood mainly wants him for his fan base. It would be nice to finally get some good alien movies where you actually see the aliens up close going up against us humans and the military. Battle Los Angeles had great acting but horrible looking aliens…..if that was what they were suppose to be. We have the technology/make up artists to make some convincing on screen aliens.

    Push this to a greenlight and start calling good ol’ Foxx lol. JK

    I’m all for ID4ever and ID4lessthanone……..

  4. Well, apart from marketing power of Will Smith, stories wise I see very few scenarios that require Will Smith to be presence. But of cause I want a new story and a different angle to the whole Independent Day universe, and not just a repeat of Independence Day 1 with better special effects and the big ground battle they wanted in the original but didn’t have the budget or the technology to do it in the first film.

    The only one that should really be their Goldblum, he figured out their computer systems and tactics it make perfect sense that he would take charge of research the alien technology and learning to replicate it or come up with counter measures and be the leader person fending of another attack.

  5. The original film’s strongest aspects was its, well developed script, epic scale, iconic blow-up scenes, and Will Smith’s memorable scenes. To do further films in this franchise without any of these elements is ridiculous. From a fan’s perspective the first thing I remember when I think back on the film is the blowing up of the landmark buildings after that Will Smith’s “Welcome to Earth” and other scenes. Bill Pullman’s epic “We Won’t Go Quietly Into the Night” speech also comes to mind.

    My point is either do a new movie without any of the old cast or bring Pullman, Smith, and Golblum back. But either way the script needs to resonate with fans (i.g. emotions–– heartache, shock, joy, and excitement). The special effects is also key.

  6. Pullman, Goldblum and Quaid should be in the sequel. They are all excellent actors.