Though it’s not as timely as if the news had broken five days ago, it seems that Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich have come up with a solid plan for a sequel to Independence Day. The original film, which was co-written by Devlin and Emmerich (and directed by the latter), starred Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum as humanity’s only hope against an overwhelming alien invasion. It also included a surprisingly stirring monologue from President Bill Pullman, Randy Quaid being lovably crazy and proof that Apple’s operating system is compatible with military technology from light years away.
Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Devlin expressed his excitement about the tentative sequel plans. “I can tell you that Roland and I have been working together for the first time in 11 years and we’re every excited about the idea of doing it,” Devlin said. “Whether or not we can make this happen, if we can get all the pieces to come together, that’s gonna be challenging. But creatively, for the very first time since we did the original, I feel we have a worthy concept, a worthy path to go.”
Why create a sequel now, 16 years after the original Independence Day hit theaters? Obviously the potential profit is one motivator, but Devlin offers a different reason: artistic integrity. “We resisted doing the sequel for years because we still wanted to honor the first one. The first one gave us all careers, and we really love that movie and loved the experience,” Devlin told The Hollywood Reporter. “We didn’t want to make a movie because it was financially a good idea, we only wanted to do it when we had an idea and a concept that creatively felt like it honored the first one — that it felt like an organic sequel as opposed to ‘let’s just go make some more money.'”
“I feel like we got it,” he added. “I think it took a long time, but I feel like we finally got something that really feels like, ‘that’s worth seeing as a sequel to Independence Day.’ “
Devlin failed to elaborate on the details of this “worthy concept,” but it’s probably safe to assume that the film will include massive explosions, one liners that are awesome only because they’re so hilariously cheesy and a big name star not normally known for action movies battling against apocalyptic enemies (see previous video link). Though no casting decisions have been made, Devlin claims that the goal is to include as many stars of the original movie as possible in Independence Day 2. Artistic vision aside, given that the first film pulled in $817 million worldwide the sequel should prove a lucrative pay day for everyone involved.
As a somewhat related aside, at the end of the interview Devlin also mentioned that he and Emmerich would like to create at least one theatrical sequel to 1994’s Stargate. That one’s even less concrete than the tenuous Independence Day news, so file it under “hypothetically possible” for the time being.