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


Follow Kofi Outlaw on Twitter @ppnkof
Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. Make these movies already!!!!! Enough delay, these are long overdue. With or without Will Smith, they should make them. Their are plenty of other actors that could take part and make for a very interesting story. MAKE THEM ALREADY!! This starting to turn into Ghostbusters 3!!!

    • How about a ID4&GB cross over movie??Will Smith joining THE GHOSTBUSTERS squad to fight a giant Martian Ghost army invading New York City!But in 3D!

      • I’d go see that, actually.

  2. A sequel to Independence Day is not even necessary. Hollywood please create new ideas.

    Yours Truly,

    • I think it is necessary because I’ve always wondered, what would the world be like after the end credits of an alien invasion movie?

      Hopefully these sequels explore that.

      • “…what would the world be like after the end credits of an alien invasion movie?” – Very simple to provide that to you: watch Falling Skies.

        • Except in Fallen skies we lost the war, and are only just clinging on. In ID4 we won the war but incurred devastating losses, with potentially millions of aliens still on the planet, and I am guest seeking revenge and may be some are just willing to live peacefully on our planet, who knows, that the interesting angle to tell. An how did the world recover from the alien assault.

    • Norrin Radd, I agree.

      PS I love your username!

  3. I’ll only see it if the jumping dog returns!


  4. Didn’t Emmerich vow that “2012″ was definetely his last disaster film?
    And whats the point of an Indpendence DAy sequel-anyway, “The Day After Tomorrow” and “2012″ were both already losely sequels to that film. They were basically the same thing. Just the force thats destroying the earth changes.
    And whats can they possibaly do about the plot? Will the Aliens come back to destroy the Earth again?

    • Who said Independent Day 2 had to be a disaster film, that about the least imaginative film Independent Day 2 could ever be.

  5. I think I read somewhere that the plot was about the follow up aliens, after the invasion, the ones that are here to “extract our resources”, arriving. Either way, a follow up would be nice.

    Day after tomorrow, & 2012 are not loosely based sequels to ID4. That is absurd. Sorry, but it just is.

  6. @Stark
    Yes its not the same franchise, and has not the same characters but all the 3 movies (ID4, Day after Tomorrow, 2012) have one thing in common. Some catastrophe happens thats destroying landmarks. Thats it!
    In Id4 its the ALiens, in Day After tomorrow the weather, and in 2012 it was all disaster-movie clishes packed in one movie together. Just the destroying force changes, but not the plot of the film.
    For me its the same film. Check out the Review of the Nostalgia Chick on the TGWTG-site. She also thinks that Emmerich makes one movie with the same over and over again.

    • I hear you Ex. The plots over all are similar, but I still think an ID4 follow up would be cool, see what happens. What about the aliens that survived, what about the tech that crashed all over the word when those ships went down? Was the world still united after the victory? Was the victory complete, or was there more? I think they might have blown it by waiting so long to make these sequels, if they even make them at all.

  7. I’d be quite content if ANY of these disaster movies included actual acting. What am I saying though, bring on the Baysplosions, I’ll mail him my money, and save two hours of my life staying home. If the actors can mail their lines in, surely I can just mail the cost of my ticket.

  8. You cant have ID4 without Will Smith

  9. Independence Day Sequel?? how many waves of alien invasions can earth survive?

    • At least one more :)

    • I’d be very much pleased but such a narrative approach.
      Maybe they could also throw in some character development for the aliens, flesh them out beyond the level of cardboard villains maybe? Possibly give them an agenda by far exceeding that of a balls-of-steel-god-complex that made them embark on a helluva intergalactic journey just to obliterate tiny little humanity. Why not have some of them feel conflicted about that mission and even go so far as to question their superiors and the chain-of-command in general?

      On a sidenote: what I don’t really get is why you guys keep using the short ID4 / ID42 – did I miss something crucial here?

      • Because July 4th is Independence Day.

      • ID4 was use to market the film.

  10. Who gives a s*** about will smith, bring back Jeff goldblum!

    • Will Smith is great, love his work but if he’s the reason this is taking so long to get made then just make it without him.

      • Just make it with Jeff Goldblum!

  11. Oops Ariel is a satellite of Uranus. Aerial is in,of, caused by, or in the air. Just saying.

    Doesn’t it bother anyone that more resources exist in our solar system than all those that exist in this big gravity well we call Earth? Someone stupefy Emmerich and mail him a copy of “Manifold Space” please…

    • You are correct, sir. The change has been noted.

  12. why would will smith not want to do this? he just did men in black 3.

    • Why is Hollywood going back to the 80s with their sequel naming convention: Part 1 and Part 2? This trend seemed to begin with Harry Potter, where the final novel was split into 2 movies, as was the case with Twilight.

      Since Independence Day is not based on a novel, they have the freedom to be creative with their movie titles.

      Imagine if The Dark Knight Rises was named The Dark Knight Part 2 (*shudder*).

      • I would’ve liked that better, The Dark Knight Part 2. It’s better than TDKR.
        Not sure why the author is digging at “under 20 something’s”. Everyone, literally everyone, in America is familiar with this film

      • actually it would be Batman Begins Part 3 because “The Dark Knight” would actually be Batman Begins Part 2 :P

    • Hahaha in a nutshell!

      • and it shall kick ass! LOL

    • Forgot to put in

      Overly Cute-Diabetes Inducing Sweet-Adorable Child with the-Oh So sweet and loyal dog-who fights a battle to save child gets severly hurt and or dies saving the child.
      and the
      Sneaky-Dastardly-Underhanded-back Stabbing-piece of slime that ALWAYS has an ulterior motive-Who you want to die badly-But gets saved by the recluse/off the wall character that gives his life in Heroic Fashion

  13. I bet the plot goes something like, Aliens re-invade, Earth forces retalilliate… Erm well thats about it… It’s been in develop hell for so long you have to wonder how many writers have had their hands on it and passed it on for soemthing more interesting.

  14. ID2! It could work.
    But is it just me or did we already see ID2? It was called “Battleship”….I’m just say’n.

  15. I have to wonder what this means:

    “and even reveals a plan to proceed with or without the involvement of franchise star, Will Smith.”

    Are you referring to his only franchise MIB? I don’t recall Mr. Smith being in any other franchise movie series.

    I like Mr. Smith but must agree with some others. Who cares if he is not in it?

    • If they are stretching these out into 3 movies, I mean he’s the star of the ID4 Franchise.

    • He had Bad Boys, although that wasn’t quite as successful. Not bad, but definitely not as big as MIB or I Am Legend (or this one).

  16. Jeff Goldblum is a FAR more interesting actor than Will overpaid Smith! Unlike Smith he hasn’t got a galaxy sized ego either, and is a much better character actor.

    It would be balsy to go with Goldblum – perhaps they could go for a slightly less cheesy, more dramatic approach this time too…

    COULD be really good if they reigned in the OTT ‘air punching’ type patriotism too.

  17. ike Shirley implied I am dazzled that a mother able to earn $7823 in a few weeks on the internet. did you look at this site link fly38.ℂom

  18. I like Will Smith. He’s a great actor. *bow*

    But without him in the sequel? I don’t know what to say… I hope he changes his mind

  19. Actually, I would be more likely to want to see it if it didnt’ have Will Smith. He is way overated!

  20. Jeff – too much caffeine dude seriously. .

  21. Complain all you want about Smith, but this is HIS franchise. Not Pullman’s or Goldblum’s. No Will Smith, no ID4 part 2.

  22. Hmmm, every one says bring back Will or Jeff. I say bring them both back. They had great chemistry together. Brains and brawn,witty and a wisecracking.

  23. Replace Will Smith with The Rock and I think it would work. The Rock seems to bring fresh life in every franchise that he enters. Keep Bill Pullman, try to get Jeff Goldblum back and I think it would work. This story had many faces in it and it would make sense to see new ones the second time around. Although Will Smith broke out in this movie, I would say his role wasn’t any more powerful than Pullman’s or Goldblum’s.

  24. I think it’s amazing that whenever aliens or a natural disaster strikes in a Emmerich movie that it always destroys either the 1.) largest city such as NY or LA, 2.) the most recognizable landmark of that city (Statue of Liberty, Hollywood sign, etc.).

    Incredibly it never destroys cell towers or wifi so communication between the heroes is still possible and of course everyone knows the exact reason why the aliens/ disaster has occurred the minute after it has happened. Plus, everything that blows up does so in a huge ball of fire…almost like every landmark or government building has a gasoline storage shed in the back.

    That’s why I like a movie like Signs that takes place in the middle of no where, with the major characters as much in the dark as we are. Even the much hated water glass scene is great in my eyes…it just makes me see the aliens as that much more desperate, to attack a planet that itself is hostile to them. It’s very similar to War of the Worlds in my mind. Don’t you think if they announced tomorrow that they found diamonds in the pit of a bubbling volcano that some corporations would start figuring out a way to get in there and start mining?

  25. Really, do people want another ID4. The first was a long time ago and wasn’t that good, and the filmmakers have gone to more terrible films like GODZILLA. In a post Avatar-era I can’t see this working.

  26. with Will Smith schedule? no I don’t see this happening besides they have to offer the double of what he made on ID

  27. Given all of the new technology that they would have been discovered after getting into those alien ships after the first film 20 years ago I imagine earth people would have to be traveling to other planets.

    The Aussies at least would have pulled that saucer out of Sydney Harbor and been traveling the galaxy claiming planets with the Australian flag by now.

    • Maybe that’s where they’re thinking of going – Earth going on the offense, with Pullman, Goldblum and (maybe) Smith leading the charge. Since the entire planet was attacked, they could stretch the cast out to give it a more international feel.

      I love “Independence Day”. I don’t know that I need a sequel, but I’d love to see what they come up with.