Independence Day marked a period in which Jeff Goldblum became an unlikely action-adventure star. After a career dating back to the late ‘70s as an idiosyncratic actor in horror films (The Fly, Invasion of the Body Snatchers), comedies (The Big Chill, Earth Girls Are Easy) and horror-comedies (Transylvania 6-500), Goldblum played a scientist/action hero in three of the decade’s biggest action films: Jurassic Park, Independence Day, and the Lost World: Jurassic Park.
After essentially returning to his earlier career as an offbeat actor in comedy and horror movies (plus the occasional TV commercial, sitcom guest spot, or Broadway appearance), Goldblum is returning for this month’s long-awaited sequel Independence Day: Resurgence. And he’s promoting the film in a video in which he plays both his ID4 character (David Levinson) and himself.
In the video (see above), Goldblum-as-Levinson is now the head of the Earth Space Defense, and appears in order to “debunk” the “conspiracy theory” that David Levinson and Jeff Goldblum are in fact the same person. The problem is, they’re wearing the same pair of glasses, appear to be the same height and have the same haircut. There’s some banter about Levinson/Goldblum confusing Goldblum/Goldblum with the likes of Dabney Coleman and Bowser from Sha-Na-Na.
The video is fun, but somewhat odd. The first Independence Day movie was not without humor, but this video isn’t really consistent with that movie’s established comedic tone. And while a lot of the other pop culture from the alien-obsessed 1990s (especially The X-Files and Men in Black) got a great deal of mileage out of conspiracy theory jokes, that was never really Independence Day’s thing — unless we’re talking about Randy Quaid’s character. Still, the video seems to be capitalizing on Goldblum’s own appeal as a pop-culture icon and frequent meme — especially the image of a shirtless Ian Malcolm from Jurassic Park — suggesting that the marketing is, in part, banking on the actor’s unique onscreen presence to help bring audiences to the theater. And considering the absence of Will Smith — his character died in between movies — Goldblum is now the only star with a proven box-office track record, so it makes sense that Fox would use him to help sell their movie.
That also means giving his character a new role in the film. As mentioned above, Levinson is now the head of the Earth Space Defense, a United Nations-created global defense program against alien invasion, a Strategic Defense Initiative-like shield that incorporates alien technology from the first invasion back in 1996. This leads, perhaps unsurprisingly, to a second and even larger alien invasion featuring plenty of Roland Emmerich-style cinematic destruction. With any luck, these elements will help make this sequel as big a hit as its predecessor.
Independence Day: Resurgence will be released June 24, 2016.
Source: 20th Century Fox