Three years ago, Independence Day: Resurgence arrived in theaters and followed humanity having to fight off another alien invasion two decades after the original Independence Day. Alas, Resurgence was a critical bomb and a box office disappointment, and Roland Emmerich, who directed both movies, has admitted it was a mistake to movie forward with Resurgence.
Roland Emmerich acknowledged during a recent interview that the main reason he decided to do Independence Day: Resurgence was because he wanted to “make a movie exactly like the first.” But things became complicated when Will Smith, who played Captain Steven Miller, one of Independence Day’s main characters, dropped out of Resurgence in order to play Deadshot in Suicide Squad. Emmerich continued:
I should have stopped making the movie because we had a much better script. After I had to, really fast, cobble another script together. And I should have just said ‘no,’ because all of a sudden I was making something I criticized myself, a sequel.
So if Will Smith had stayed on Independence Day: Resurgence, maybe the original version of this sequel would have done gangbusters at the box office. But that’s not how things panned out, and in retrospect, Roland Emmerich believes he should have just set Resurgence aside after that setback rather than continue with a quickly-assembled, subpar script.
As Roland Emmerich also noted in his interview with Yahoo, he’s not a fan of sequels in general. The man has an extensive filmography that includes Stargate, 1998’s Godzilla, The Patriot and White House Down, but Independence Day: Resurgence marks the only time that he’s helmed a follow-up to one of this past movies, and the experience ultimately did not end well.
Independence Day: Resurgence featured a mix of characters returning from the original Independence Day, like Jeff Goldblum’s David Levinson and Bill Pullman’s Thomas J. Whitmore, and brand-new players, like Liam Hemsworth’s Jake Morrison and William Fichtner’s Joshua T. Adams. The events of Resurgence set the stage for a potential third movie that would see humanity heading into space to assault the homeworld of the antagonistic aliens, who were identified as “Harvesters.”
But if you think we’re getting Independence Day, you have another thing coming. Not only was Independence Day: Resurgence met with a lot of negative critical reception (it ranks at 29% among critics on Rotten Tomatoes), it only made $389.7 million worldwide off a $165 million budget.
Throw in the fact that the Independence Day property now rests at Disney due to the 20th Century Fox merger, unless there comes a time when the franchise is given the full reboot treatment, it’s reasonable to assume that it’s now a relic of film history. But maybe there’s an alternate universe out there where Roland Emmerich’s original take on Independence Day: Resurgence was released to the masses, and Independence Day 3 came out this past summer.