by Kate Newton
If by the end of 2013 you still can’t get enough of watching humanity meet its untimely end for the price of an admission ticket, first, you really need to kick that morbid habit, and second, you can rejoice in the fact that Independence Day director Roland Emmerich has announced not one, but two follow-ups to his 1996 blockbuster.
To refresh your memory, Independence Day ended with an oh-so-patriotic victory over a hostile alien race, but not before they burned every major city on Earth to the ground and did some other unnecessary, totally un-American things, like shoot strippers with ray beams and try to kill Will Smith.
The sequels, ID Forever Part 1 and ID Forever Part 2 - passing on the clearly superior title Independence Day: Forever Ever (Forever Ever?!) - pick up 20 years after the first film, when alien reinforcements respond to a distress call conveniently sent by the first wave of attackers before they were exterminated.
Emmerich spared a few plot details to Entertainment Weekly:
”The humans knew that one day the aliens would come back,” explains the director, who completed two scripts with Independence Day co-writer Dean Devlin and has given them to White House Down writer-producer James Vanderbilt for a rewrite. ”And they know that the only way you can really travel in space is through wormholes. So for the aliens, it could take two or three weeks, but for us that’s 20 or 25 years.”
Really, Roland, the humans knew? Because that seems like an awfully convenient excuse to crank out two more films with minimal creative investment (Emmerich’s film White House Down comes out this June, and just might be entirely compiled of Independence Day stock footage with a few shots of Channing Tatum tossed in), but I digress. It’s also worth noting that by the time of the sequels, Emmerich says the remaining humans have “rebuilt” civilization, only to watch it get unceremoniously blown up again. As if an alien invasion forcing you to cancel your Fourth of July barbecue isn’t already painful enough.
It’s confirmed that Bill Pullman, who played the President in the first film and now occupies the same role on NBC’s 1600 Penn, will return for the sequels. Will Smith has yet to weigh in, probably because saying yes would mean he’d have to share the screen with actual other people, which is frankly unacceptable. Instead, Emmerich told EW that the storyline will shift to a younger generation, among them the stepson of Smith’s character. No word on whether former child actor Ross Bagley, who played Dylan in the film, would return to play the role now 17 years later.
Emmerich then went on to provide these totally non-spoiler-y details: “The first one ends on a little success, but only enough to give the humans hope. And then in the second one they free themselves again [from the aliens].”
Never would have seen that one coming.