What would our planet look like today if we had successfully repelled an alien invasion twenty years ago? That's the question that director Roland Emmerich is planning to answer as he returns to make a sequel to his 1996 sci-fi action blockbuster Independence Day, starring a mix of actors from the first movie and new faces.
Among the returning stars are Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum and Vivica A. Fox, while the newcomers so far include Liam Hemsworth, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Jessie Usher. With Independence Day 2 set for release next summer, principal photography will begin within the next few months and we can expect to see plenty more cast members added between now and then - given Emmerich's love for huge ensemble casts.
Now we can add another returning star and another newcomer to the list, as Emmerich has announced on Twitter that Joey King and Brent Spiner have both officially signed on for roles in Independence Day 2. Both actors have worked with Emmerich before; King appeared in White House Down and Spiner will be reprising his role as Dr. Okun from Independence Day.
Back in 2013 Emmerich named Spiner, alongside Judd Hirsch, as one of the actors that he absolutely wanted to bring back for the sequel, despite Dr. Okun apparently meeting a sticky end in the first film. Prior to his demise he was used as a sock puppet by the invading aliens, so perhaps alien technology will be used to bring him back.
There aren't a lot of specifics currently available regarding Independence Day 2's story, but Emmerich has said that it will feature a second alien invasion. Because the only way for aliens to travel is through wormholes, decades have passed on Earth while only a few weeks has passed for the aliens (luckily the release of Interstellar means that modern audiences have already been briefed on the science behind this).
The upside to the time difference is that humans have had twenty years to prepare for the second invasion, and have done so by stripping down the alien technology left behind and using it to advance science and weaponry. Of course, all this could be for naught if the aliens have switched to a different OS in time for the second invasion.
Independence Day 2 opens in U.S. theaters on June 24th, 2016.
Source: Roland Emmerich