Roland Emmerich talks about Independence Day: Resurgence and its potential sequel

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independence day

We haven’t even had the opportunity to see the second Independence Day film yet (though that will all change come next weekend when it is releases here) and there are already talks of another sequel in the pipeline. While for most films that is hardly unusual, when you consider it took them 20 years to make Independence Day: Resurgence after the first one, it does make you wonder why they are so excited about building a franchise out of the films now and not all those years ago.

And in a recent opportunity for director Roland Emmerich to be the guest editor of Empire’s website, he partook in a Q&A session and answered some questions about the new film – especially in addressing the big gap between the first two films. In the interview he revealed how he never actually intended to make a sequel to the film in the first place, but was convinced more recently to do it by the studio and that is largely thanks to the technology available today to make something more of a scale that he felt would be suitable for a sequel:

I’d never planned to make a sequel – I always felt that Independence Day was a standalone film. But over the years I realized how iconic the film had become for people and I was repeatedly asked by [20th Century] Fox to do it. What really did it was just how amazing film technology is these days and how restricted I felt in ’95/’96 when I did the original one. But it’s not a traditional sequel.

It was only a few years ago when thoughts of the sequel came to mind and before the film actually came together the director revealed that what was initially been worked on with screenwriter Dean Devlin was something completely different:

It was after 9/11 and Dean and I wanted to make the movie about peace, and it just didn’t work. There’s still an element of that in the new one, but that version was only about that. We shoot aliens down accidentally and then at the end of the movie they land on the White House lawn and say “we come in peace” and that was it. It was just too weak an idea and we didn’t really want to do it. It didn’t have an Independence Day feel. Only the alien ship was destroyed!

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That idea would actually make a rather nice twist on the usual alien action movies we are used to and it would’ve been interesting to see America blamed for being a little too trigger happy in the movies as well. However, what was really interesting out of all the information he shared on the site was that they are already thinking about the sequel, Independence Day 3.

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!

Well if the sequel is as much fun as the first film, I have no doubt it will be successful at the box office. Whether they can actually pull a story line together that can make a 3rd one even better without rehashing the same ideas is probably my biggest concern. Whatever happens, at least we know that we probably won’t need to wait so long again to see the aliens and humans battle it out in conflict of almost apocalyptic proportions.

Independence Day: Resurgence is out next Friday 24th June.

Last Updated: June 15, 2016

Craig Risi

A man of many talents, but no sense how to use them. I could be discovering the cure for aids or finding ways to achieve world peace, but I'd rather be watching movies and writing here instead.

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