Today is the day that the former British colony known as the USA celebrates their treasonous history and the day they declared an end to British rule. From what I understand it involves BBQs, beer, and lots of fireworks. But Independence Day also means something else in the English vernacular: the Roland Emmerich directed alien invasion movie from 1996.
It turns out that there is an Independence Day sequel on the way, so now is a good a time as any to take a look at what we know so far.
What is the new Independence Day called?
The sequel is called Independence Day: Resurgence, which thankfully means that it's not one of those lazy sequels that just slaps a number onto the original film's title. The title was announced a couple of weeks ago by 20th Century Fox.
Can I watch a trailer?
If you mean a proper trailer with actual acting in it, then no you can't. If you're happy with a teaser trailer that shows absolutely nothing then go right ahead. Apparently it's being attached to screenings of Terminator Genisys, but if you'd rather not pay to see a film ruined by its own trailer then the teaser is also on YouTube.
When can I go and see it?
The release date has been shuffled a few times, and was originally set for release yesterday (3rd July 2015). That was eventually pushed back to a 1st July 2016 release, that was moved again and at the time of writing ID: Resurgence is scheduled for a stateside release on 24th June 2016. That's 20 years after the release of the original for anyone keeping score.
Why 24th June? Surely it makes more sense to release on 4th July, right? I imagine it'll have something to do with trying to get a strong opening weekend, and earning the studio lots of money. Next year's 4th July is a Monday, which doesn't help, and I assume there are executive fears that people will be too busy partying over the 4th July weekend to bother with going to the cinema.
So who is in it?
Image: Roland Emmerich/Facebook
A few members of the original cast are reprising their roles from the first film. Jeff Goldblum will be returning as the computer scientist who somehow managed to link a Mac with alien hardware, Bill Pullman as the now former President of the United States, Vivica A Fox as Will Smith's girlfriend/wife, and Judd Hirsch is back as Jeff Goldblum's dad. Also returning is Brent Spiner, which is strange since [SPOILER ALERT] his character supposedly died during the first movie (rumour has it that they'll explain it away as a coma).
Joining them are Liam Hemsworth in the lead role of Jake Morrison, William Fitchner as General Adams, Charlotte Gainsbourg as Dr. Catherine Marceaux, and Sela Ward as the current President.
The roles of Dylan (Will Smith's stepson) and Patricia (the President's daughter) have been recast, with the roles being played by Jessie Usher and Maika Monroe respectively.
So what's the status on Will Smith?
A lot of the original ID cast are going to be in the new film, but Will Smith is not one of them. Roland Emmerich, says he wanted the Fresh Prince back for the sequel but claims Smith was "too expensive".
It's probably a good thing he's not involved anyway. For starters he's also probably a bit busy filming DC's upcoming Suicide Squad movie right now, and secondly he'd probably try and find a way to shoehorn Jaden into the movie. Nobody wants that to happen.
What's the plot?
We don't know very much right now, but apparently the plot will involve the fact that the original invasion fleet sent off a distress signal before they were destroyed. That means another alien fleet is on it's way to conquer Earth, and presumably get some revenge. Thankfully humans have reverse engineered alien tech salvaged from the original invasion fleet in aid of Earth's defence.
Back in 2013 Emmerich also claimed that wormholes would be a plot point, but we'll have to wait and see whether that is still in the current script.
Does this mean more Independence Day movies?
Maybe? In 2013 Emmerich announced that two Independence Day films were in development, called ID Forever Part I and ID Forever Part II. As far as we know right now Resurgence is a stand alone film, but if it does well enough you can bet Fox will try and pump out a few more films.