Director Roland Emmerich has been talking for awhile now about his plan to make not one, but two sequels to his 1996 mega-hit alien invasion movie Independence Day. Emmerich told us back in late 2009 that his idea for the sequels involved telling the story as though it were a king leading his country, with the US president as a stand in for a king. We saw a little of that in the original movie, with Bill Pullman as the president. What’s more he says his sequel idea is inspired in part by Barack Obama. So it makes a lot of sense that MTV is now reporting that Will Smith will be the new American president in the sequels.
In the original movie Smith was the hero fighter pilot who Bill Pullman’s presidential character tasks with leading the fight against the alien invaders. The sequels will take place several years after the events of the first film and Emmrich says, "We pick up the story, what would have happened after this kind of attack? Naturally, the alien technology has changed everything." Apparently one of those changes is the rise to power of Will Smith’s Captain Steve Hiller character. It makes sense. Saving the world from an alien attack does tend to curry favor with the voters.
It’s unclear how real this project is or how far off, but Emmerich really sounds serious about it. The original movie was a huge, huge moneymaker and these days alien invasion movies seem to be back in vogue. The time could be right to revisit it.
In case you missed it, here’s our original 2009 interview with Emmerich in which he talks about his plans for the sequels and his idea of using the model of a king leading his country for the story. If you plug Will Smith into the role of the king, what he has to say now makes a lot more sense.
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