In the modern age of seasonal blockbusters dominating the box office, films not only need prequels, sequels and remakes - they need their own cinematic universes. Every studio is attempting to build them, and just as Twentieth Century Fox expands their X-Men and Fantastic Four lineup of films that will inevitably crossover, so to are they bringing back Independence Day with the plan of turning it into an ongoing series.
Independence Day 2 began production last month, with Roland Emmerich back in the director's chair and bringing back original stars Jeff Goldblum, Vivica A. Fox, Bill Pullman, Judd Hirsch, and Brent Spiner from the first film (sorry, no Will Smith) and adding to the cast Liam Hemsworth, Jessie Usher, Joey King (Fargo TV series), Charlotte Gainsbourg (Nymphomaniac), Maika Monroe (It Follows), and Sela Ward. Also joining the roster will be William Fichtner.
Fichtner is a late addition to the cast but his role will be a major one nonetheless. Deadline reports that the actor will play a "top general" in the film, lead part of sorts that sets up an even larger role in sequels. His deal is a three-picture one so Independence Day is planning not only going to launch another alien invasion, but seemingly, a long-term war.
A familiar face to TV viewers and moviegoers, William Fichtner has for over two decades, worked virtually non-stop. From scene-stealing performances in Contact, Armageddon, Black Hawk Down and The Lone Ranger to TV roles in Invasion, Prison Break, Entourage and Crossing Lines, Fichtner is a veteran who's looking to embrace the area of franchising. He'll also be back for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2, another ongoing live-action blockbuster series.
As for specifics of Fichtner's role in Independence Day 2, we only know that the film takes place 15 years after its predecessor and in that time, the governments and military forces of the world have joined forces to build a defense program for Earth, now a necessity after the first invasion. And they've adapted alien technology to do so.
Bill Pullman's character, the mind behind Earth's successful thwarting of the aliens, is likely a part of utilizing and understanding the alien tech, and Fichtner will be a top dog in the world's new military - in whatever form it now takes.
Independence Day 2 opens in theaters June 24, 2016.