Who could ever forget Independence Day; the movie that not only allowed Will Smith to welcome an alien race to Earth, but blew the White House to smithereens (before it was a trend)? And yet despite the fond memories of fans and box office success of the film, Independence Day 2 has yet to gain any momentum.
That's not stopping director Roland Emmerich and producer Dean Devlin though, who recently hinted at the much larger story their pair of sequels - and additional films - would tell, and which of the original cast members they've already found places for in the plot.
Emmerich explained his plan for a pair of sequels - dubbed ID Forever Part I and II - some years ago, along with his intention to pick up the story right where it left off. The passing years haven't gotten the project any closer to production, but speaking this week at the Hero Complex Film Festival, Emmerich and Devlin provided an update on their plans.
Despite the number of years that have passed since the last substantial progress, Devlin remains optimistic, and claims the pair won't hesitate should the opportunity present itself:
"Roland and I would really like to do one. We have some pretty darn good ideas on how to do one and, hopefully, that will all come together. A lot of things have to align. The planets have to piece together and if they do, it’ll happen."
The first question on every fan's mind will be the fate of returning characters. The news that Will Smith wouldn't be connected to a sequel disappointed many at the time, and the most recent news concerning cast seemed to hint that the children of ID4 might be leading Earth's defense this time around.
Bill Pullman previously claimed that he would be reprising his role as President Thomas J. Whitmore regardless of the story, but would there be room for the brilliant David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum)? The actor - who was sitting in on the discussion - is a fan favorite, so Emmerich was willing to playfully explain that “I think we’ll invite him back.”
These days, a colossal film usually means not just a sequel being rushed into development, but the crafting of a story meant to stretch over a trilogy. With almost twenty years separating the original Independence Day and any potential follow-up, that gives the filmmakers plenty of stories to tell, and freedom to evolve the parallel universe created by mankind harnessing the alien's technology.
If you've used the intervening years to think up some epic sequels to the original movie, you're not alone. Emmerich says he and Devlin have much more in mind than one more film, with the first installment showing little more than the tip of the iceberg:
"That’s actually what we talked a lot about. The mythology of why did the aliens come in the first place, what is the bigger story of this whole thing? And we talked a lot about swarm intelligence. And [the humans] are individual intelligence. Even though we kill each other and have wars against each other, we have something special. We have this indomitable human spirit to believe in good and over coming enemies. And it’s a little bit about that and when you get a bigger mythology going, I think then you have the chance to do not only one or two or three but you can create a series and that’s what we want to do."
We won't disagree that plenty of film franchises have been founded on less interesting or lasting ideas as humanity's will to survive, and fight an invading alien army bent on revenge. It's hard to say that the theme would be enough to carry the series among a movie landscape now filled with space adventure, but Devlin has always maintained that an Independence Day sequel wouldn't be made until they had a story that made the film worthwhile.
Does his brief description of the battle between humanity and an alien swarm sound like the story to do it? Or would you prefer the original film's fiction be left untouched? Share your thoughts in the comments.
We'll keep you updated on any and all information regarding Independence Day 2 & 3 as it arrives.
Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.
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