It turns out the "Fat Lady" may not have sung just yet. Fans who may welcome a sequel to 1996's special FX summer blockbuster, Independence Day may have some encouraging news on their hands. Latino Review recently had a chance to ask director Roland Emmerich for an update on the long-sought, but never realized sequel project. According to Emmerich:
"Dean Devlin and I are still set to make a sequel likely because we’ve found some sort of idea and we approached FOX and FOX has not quite figured out how to incorporate Dean’s and my deal, and Will’s (Smith) deal. Will wants to do it in some sort of a package they can live with. So it's just been in negotiations now since forever, and naturally FOX says “Why don’t you do it without Will Smith?” I said Will is essential for us, for this movie and actually for the audience too. And, so, it's in limbo and lately the studios are fighting. Like gross players, and Will is a gross player and is probably the only gross player right now who’s worth his gross. So we’ll see what happens. I would love to do it."
Emmerich's potential collaboration with Dean Devlin (a producer, whose name was recently attached to the rumored MechWarrior film adaptation,) has gone through many stages of contrary PR over the years, even to the point in 2008, when 20th Century Fox CEO Tom Rothman stated that the project merely depended on Emmerich's willingness to take the job. However, Emmerich's recent comments seem to imply that's HE'S the one waiting for the green light. When asked whether there is a set story, Emmerich responded with surprising certainty: "Oh yeah! There’s a story. There’s a very really good great story, a very cool one." However, (understandably,) he could not elaborate on any of the details.
Personally, I think a sequel to this classic crowd-pleaser would be welcomed with open arms at the box-office. Was it an over-the-top spectacle? Sure. Did it require serious suspension of disbelief in the way the aliens, for all their technology, had laughable cyber-security? Sure. Was Jeff Goldblum's off-the-wall inductive logic ridiculous at times? Sure. Was it nonsensical that Will Smith's character, upon seeing the alien for the first time, is able to calmly, almost jokingly punch it in the face, knocking it out cold, and then nonchalantly sit down and chill next to the unconscious creature? Sure. You get the idea...
However, what is important, is that Independence Day was an extremely well done and accessible film that, for all its glaring flaws, was able for one brief moment to instill a sense of pride in being a human being. (A rare thing in these days, where cynicism, by default, equates "insightful.") It was obviously a visual delight, but was also paced well, had plenty of comedy relief, and never tried to overreach its "popcorn movie" bounds. It would be nice to revisit that world, set maybe 15 or so years in the aftermath of the alien attacks. Hopefully they can work things out with Will Smith. (And Jeff Goldblum.)
"Get on the wire, tell them how to bring those sons of b****es down."