When Will Smith-led sci-fi blockbuster Independence Day burst onto the scene in summer 1996, it captured the attention of the world, and seemed a natural fit for a sequel that continued the near-apocalypse story. Unfortunately, the follow-up fans had hoped for failed to materialize for almost two decades, that is until the announcement of the forthcoming Independence Day: Resurgence. While some have questioned the wisdom of doing a sequel to ID4 after so much lost time, the studio hype train is currently in full swing, with nearly every principle player from the original - outside of Smith himself - returning for another battle with alien invaders.
Of course, the long-awaited arrival of ID4: Resurgence naturally begs the question of whether a third Independence Day film will soon be added to 20th Century Fox's release schedule; and if so, will fans have to wait another 20 years to see it? Director Roland Emmerich was tasked with answering that very query during a recent Q&A, and offered his assurances that the answer is "no".
Specifically, Emmerich told Empire that Independence Day: Resurgence sets up a third installment (which, you may recall, was at one point slated to be filmed back to back with the first Independence Day sequel) to happen, sooner rather than later:
"If it's successful enough, yes, because it's set up for a sequel. In 20 years? No, I wouldn't want to make it with a Zimmer frame!"
First off, for anyone confused by that last sentence, Emmerich is not in fact making an oddly-worded reference to popular composer Hans Zimmer. A "Zimmer frame" is simply a commonly used UK term for what Americans call a "walker," apparently a device Emmerich - who has a residence in London - would prefer not to have to be using on set while directing a potential Independence Day 3 in 2036 at the age of 80.
With that clarified, Emmerich clearly does want to make another entry in the series, although the second half of that sentence suggests that Fox is taking a wait and see approach to greenlighting a possible threequel. With several big-budget studio bombs - Alice Through the Looking Glass, Gods of Egypt, etc. - already passing quickly through theaters this year, it makes sense that the studio wouldn't want to publicly commit to the project until the box office receipts for Resurgence come in. After all, this wouldn't be the first time that a long-delayed sci-fi sequel finally came out and then performed below expectations.
If an Independence Day 3 does eventually get made though, one wonders what form it will take. Might humanity take the fight to the alien home world? Or might intergalactic peace be brokered, allowing Earth's astronauts the advanced technology needed to travel further out into the galaxy? Casting wise, it's also anybody's guess as to which characters will even survive long enough to make it to ID4 part 3. No matter what creative path Emmerich takes, here's hoping he indeed gets his wish to be able to direct the film before he becomes too elderly.
Independence Day: Resurgence opens in U.S. theaters on June 24th, 2016.