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During the alien invasion that rocked Independence Day: Resurgence, London got beat up pretty badly by pieces of Dubai. And yet, in the original draft of the script, this event wasn't even supposed to happen. Instead, initial drafts saw that Paris was supposed to take the pounding of a life time, courtesy of the world's tallest building. The reason for the change was one that we've heard previously, and with another city that was supposed to be featured in that same film: it was spared out of respect.
While divulging interesting pieces of trivia during a chat with Empire, director Roland Emmerich revealed that Paris' role in Independence Day: Resurgence was given to the city of London, with the following rationale:
After [last November's terrorist attacks,] we felt it wasn't right to have the Burj Khalifa crashing on the Eiffel Tower, so we dumped it on the London Eye instead. The English can take it.
Both the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre were supposed to receive the business end of the Burj Khalifa, as well as other pieces of Dubai, during the sequence where Jeff Goldblum's David Levinson and Liam Hemworth's Jake Morrison were escorting a handful of survivors to Earth. Using one a moon tug, our heroes evaded debris from the English capitol city, with Levinson the younger commenting on how, "they like to get the landmarks." But after last November's devastating terrorist attacks, such a moment obviously doesn't seem like something people would be eager to see. This is the second city that found itself pardoned due to special circumstances, as Mumbai was also scrapped from the original draft of Independence Day: Resurgence's rain of mayhem, in an effort to pre-emptively please Indian censors.
Of course, looking back to one of Roland Emmerich's earlier disaster pictures, The Day After Tomorrow, you can see that the history of altering a film's script or its grasp on physics goes back quite a bit. In the 2004 global warming drama, the Statue of Liberty is left standing after a disastrous tsunami hits New York City.
As the story goes, Emmerich did this on purpose, as a tribute to the resilience of America and its values in the world against those that would try to destroy it. Considering this is also the man who brought us some of the most action packed flag waving in cinematic history, through not only Independence Day and its sequel, but also The Patriot and White House Down, this shouldn't be all that surprising, really.
If there's any lesson we should be taking away from this interesting item about Independence Day: Resurgence, it's this: Roland Emmerich isn't merely a cold-blooded destroyer of major cities, he's a methodically charitable destroyer of major cities. It's a subtle difference, really. You can see Emmerich's destructive handiwork in his long awaited sequel, which is playing in theaters now.