Roland Emmerich’s Independence Day is the classic example of a Guilty Pleasure, a film you know you shouldn’t like but it is just so much God damned fun its difficult to hate. I will never forget the spectacle of seeing this at the cinema, and those first forty minutes when the mammoth spaceships arrive and wreck havoc, to this day, are stunning. Fans have been crying out for a sequel ever since, and it would seem that those prayers have now been answered.
However, the bad news is that it is unlikely Will Smith will return. After the film was made director Emmerich and writer Dean Devlin parted company, and Emmerich went on to become almost obsessed with ‘blowing shit up’, while Devlin moved into smaller things like TV shows and movies. The pair did attempt to bring the sequel to Fox in 2009, but the main issue back then was Smith. He wanted $50 million to reprise his role, and with Emmerich’s already epic pay, Fox decided it was too much and the idea was shelved, until now…
Emmerich and Devlin has put some finishing touches on their script, and Fox have agreed to two sequels which will be filmed as two separate movies rather than one big film split on two. It is doubtful Smith will return, although it is Smith who could well draw the crowds and push the films to even greater heights. Not many movie fans dislike Smith, he has a charm and charisma which make his films very easy and very enjoyable to watch (Wild Wild West excluded) and he pretty much made Independence Day what it was once the big spectacle of the spaceships had passed.
$50 million is a lot to ask, but there is no doubt the sequels would make an absolute fortune. Whether they would be less successful without Smith would remain to be seen, but there is no doubt fans will flock to see this, with or without him. There are no details on what the two plots would be as yet, but whatever the stories, I would love to see at least Jeff Goldblum return. One of the most underrated actors of our time, Goldblum is another actor who makes watching a film just, you know, easy.
By Matt Wavish