June 25, 2013

Independence Day (1996) Gets A Sequel After Nearly Two Decades

We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight! We’re going to live on! We’re going to survive! Today we celebrate our Independence Day!

It might be hard to believe, but “Independence Day” is getting a sequel after nearly two decades. The 1996 science fiction film starring Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman was a huge hit and it still continues to carry its weight in the sci-fi world. It seems you can hardly go a week without finding it playing on one or more cable channels. I recall standing in line to see this film, which is memorable for me because I think it’s the only movie I’ve ever seen that required standing in line before gaining access to the theater. I could be mistaken, but I recall opening night was a Wednesday night (July 3rd).

But yes, it’s true. Last week 20th Century Fox announced Independence Day 2 would hit theaters on July 3rd, 2015, which is 19 years to the day after the original film premiered, although this time on a Friday. Roland Emmerich will return to direct the sequel along with his long-time production partner Dean Devlin.

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According to reports, the sequel will take place 20 years in the future on a rebuilt Earth, with the aliens returning for revenge. Bill Pullman and Jeff Goldblum will return, but apparently Will Smith is too expensive. It’s likely the returning characters will support a cast of younger characters who grew up in the aftermath of the first alien invasion.

I have mixed feelings about this. The first movie was not high art, but it was an entertaining sci-fi flick that is still enjoyable today. It was also one of the last big budget action movies that didn’t rely solely on CGI for many of the effects sequences. It was a nice balance of old school and new school effects. But you know the new movie will be full-blown CGI, and I’m not convinced that will make for a better experience. Will I get in line to see the new movie? No chance. But I’ll definitely watch it eventually, at home on the small screen.

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