The sequel to Independence Day is indeed happening, with studio 20th Century Fox giving the long-rumored project the official green light to move forward.
According to Deadline, the studio’s next hurdle is to settle a deal with filmmaker Roland Emmerich that would bring him back to the director’s chair for the sequel, almost two decades after he first brought the 1996 alien-invasion blockbuster to the screen. The film is currently scheduled to hit theaters June 24, 2016, though that date could shift in order to time the release to the July 4th weekend — the same weekend the first film hit theaters 20 years earlier.
Little is known about the plot at this point, though Will Smith is not expected to reprise his starring role from the 1996 original. However, Jeff Goldblum recently hinted that he’ll be returning for the sequel.
Additional casting for the film isn’t expected to begin until after Emmerich’s deal is done, and the studio will reportedly consider future sequels if this one performs well at the box office. The first film currently sits at #43 in the rankings of the all-time, highest-grossing films at both the worldwide and domestic box offices.
With filming for the Independence Day sequel expected to begin in May 2015, we can expect to see some of the necessary deals settled relatively soon.