Though Fox and Roland Emmerich have discussed a sequel to the 1996 summer blockbuster hit Independence Day for many years, news of the followup has been coming in more steadily recently. With fellow beloved ‘80s and ‘90s action/sci-fi franchises Terminator and Jurassic Park debuting new additions to their canon next year, it seems like Hollywood is finally ready for the Independence Day sequel the fans have sorely wanted – or, in some cases, vehemently protested.

While much of the first film’s success came from Will Smith’s heroics and charisma, his absence from the sequel has thrown a wrench in the production of Independence Day 2 (tentatively titled ID Forever). Though Fox had two scripts for the followup – one including Smith and one without him – the company has since ordered a rewrite.

Deadline is reporting that Fox tapped Carter Blanchard to draft a new script for the Independence Day sequel. James Vanderbilt (The Amazing Spider-Man 2) wrote the first draft of the script with director Emmerich and producer Dean Devlin (Leverage). Harald Kloser, a regular collaborator with Emmerich on films such as 2012 and The Day After Tomorrow, will also produce.

Blanchard doesn’t have any blockbuster scripts under his belt, but he’s currently working on an adaptation of Mark Millar’s Kindergarten Heroes for Fox that will be produced by Simon Kinberg (X-Men: Days of Future Past). Blanchard also recently finished a script for Warner Bros’ Spyhunter film to be directed by Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland).

Aside from Smith turning down a return to his Independence Day role and the possibility of Michael B. Jordan joining the film, very little is known about the sequel – and even less about the plot. It’s hard to determine whether Blanchard’s rewrite is an indication that Fox wants a pair of extra hands on the sequel so it can be the best film possible, or if they’re floundering with how to continue the story of an alien invasion of Earth without one of its main heroes (and with the aliens seemingly defeated).

However, fans should take heart in the fact that both original co-stars Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman will return for Independence Day 2. Perhaps with these two invasion veterans on board, the sequel will be able to introduce a new cast of characters without feeling too distanced from the original film.

We’ll have to wait and see how the script turns out, but at least it seems as though Fox won’t let Independence Day 2 vanish without a fight.

Independence Day 2 (ID Forever) is currently scheduled to invade theaters on July 1st, 2016.

Source: Deadline