Almost immediately after Independence Day became the poster child for summer blockbusters back in 1996, the studio was clamoring for a sequel, and the audience was right behind them. Yet for years after a ragtag band of politicians and military strategists saved our planet from total annihilation, no movement was made on returning to the world Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin created as their follow-up to the immensely popular Stargate. With a 3D re-release originally scheduled for 2013 being the only chance of seeing some prime ET ass being whupped, the film's legacy looked to be relegated strictly to the halls of nostalgia.

Then, in a flurry of activity that took place mostly in the past couple of years, Independence Day: Resurgence was born! The franchise was given new life, and with some serious thought into not just one, but multiple entries. For now, though, we've only got one sequel to anticipate, but already there's enough information out there to have us asking questions about how the world has changed in the 20 years after defeating those "alien assholes," and whether we'll be celebrating out Independence Day, or mourning it. Here's what we know so far about Independence Day: Resurgence, starting with the first trailer as shown below.

So what information has been released about Independence Day: Resurgence so far, and what’s been rumored about the film? Read on to find out!

The Director
In the years since Independence Day, Roland Emmerich has become a bit of an infamous figure in Hollywood. This is mostly due to his immediately following up his 1996 sci-fi blockbuster with one of the most panned films of the 1990's: his remake of Godzilla. Most recently, Emmerich was the force behind such films as The Day After Tomorrow, 2012, and White House Down - so you could debate his reputation in Hollywood as falling on either side of the spectrum. Strangely enough, Roland Emmerich waited so long to make an Independence Day sequel because he was afraid that making the film during the Bush Administration would only serve to further glorify those in power, as he felt the series was about, "a king who leads his country into a fight against an outside invader." No word yet on if the White House will yet again be destroyed, but never say never.

The Story
Twenty years after what's been universally dubbed "The War of 1996," humanity is about to be visited by another wave of alien invaders. With David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) working closely with the Earth Space Defense (ESD) organization in the decades after the first invasion, our species has adapted our own lives and defenses with reverse engineered technology from the first round of hostilities. The world has formed one massive global alliance, and peace has reigned in the ensuing ground war to clear out the straggling alien inhabitants left over since initial invasion. Throughout those years, Levinson was always convinced that the extraterrestrial forces would be back, and sure enough – those strangers from the depths of space are re-emerging in our corner of space, ready for more hostilities. Originally planned as a multi-part sequel, entitled ID Forever, the film was renamed and consolidated into one entry - Independence Day: Resurgence.

Captain Steven Hiller And His Family
After serving as a fighter pilot during the massive air campaigns waged on the alien invaders during The War of 1996, Captain Steven Hiller (Will Smith) was promoted to the rank of Colonel and began working with the Earth Space Defense organization. With the ESD working heavily in enriching our existing technology with that of our would-be destroyers, Col. Hiller was at the front line of testing said technologies, which lead to his untimely demise during the test flight of a hybrid fighter in 2007.

He was survived by his wife Jasmine, played once again by Vivica A. Fox in Independence Day: Resurgence, who went on to become a hospital administrator in the ensuing years after the global crisis; as well as his step-son Dylan (now played by Jessie Usher,) who looks to have joined the ESD, just like his step-dad before him. The reason for killing off Will Smith’s iconic character from the original film has something to do with an agreement not being reached between himself and the studio, and the eventuality was prepared for with two separate drafts of the script. Needless to say, Smith was not too pleased when he found out his character was killed off, but if he changes his tune for any prospective sequels, it shouldn’t be too hard to re-write him into the picture.

President Whitmore And His Family
During the events of the War of 1996, President James Whitmore became a battle tested leader, despite his critics having no faith in his ability to lead pre-invasion. Unfortunately, President Whitmore also lost his wife, and encountered an event where for a brief moment, a previously captured alien created a telepathic link between itself and the world leader. After humanity won the day, President Whitmore and his daughter, Patricia, became a part of living history. In particular, the former Commander in Chief was instrumental to the global talks that eventually created the Earth Space Defense organization.

But the past has come calling for James Whitmore, as he apparently still has a mental link with the aliens that came 20 years ago. Not much is known about what's been going on in Patricia’s life by the time Independence Day: Resurgence rolls around, but we do know that It Follows star Maika Monroe is filling the role, after a heated casting process that somehow left out the original actor to play the role - The DUFF’s Mae Whitman. Returning to play President Whitmore is Bill Pullman, who was last seen in the R-rated comedy/thriller American Ultra.

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