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After the merger between what was once 20th Century Fox and what is very much still Disney, quite a few projects were dropped or shuffled around. Even the fates of some major properties like Alien and Planet of the Apes have come into question as of late, although the futures of those franchises seem to be in early discussions and planning. But what about Independence Day 3? Roland Emmerich has thoughts about the franchise and where it could still go under the Disney umbrella.
Recently, while making the rounds for the home video release of his latest film Midway, Roland Emmerich had gone on record as being sad about the state of the Independence Day franchise. The reason for his dour mood is that with the “disappearance” of Fox, the studio that made both the 1996 blockbuster and its sequel Independence Day: Resurgence, it sounds like the proposed threequel is back to square one.
During my own interview with Roland Emmerich, I had asked him if there was still a chance that this second sequel could see the light of day. Uncertain, but hopeful, he gave me these details as to how he sees the project’s current status:
I don’t know. I really haven’t even gotten to it. I had naturally talked with Fox about it, and then when they got bought, I kind of said, 'Well, that’s probably [over.]' But I don’t know. We’ll see, it’s kind of like it could happen, it could not happen. Hollywood is like a strange, strange place these days, because I have a feeling Disney would maybe be interested in doing it. They like that kind of franchise movie.
Roland Emmerich isn’t wrong to hold out a little hope for Independence Day 3 at Disney’s now-retitled 20th Century Studios, as he hit the nail on the head when it comes to what it represents. Even when Independence Day: Resurgence was being shepherded under the auspices of 20th Century Fox a couple of years ago, the plan was always the same: bringing back the fans that made the first film a humongous hit with a new and continuing adventure.
Of course, Resurgence did not have the box office run the studio may have hoped for. What was once being developed as a two-part film entitled Independence Day: Forever had become a single film that failed to capture the same sort of lighting in a bottle that Independence Day had back in its ‘90s heyday.
In retrospect, Emmerich has stated that he felt Independence Day: Resurgence should have either been canceled or delayed, due to the film’s script falling into disarray once Will Smith was no longer returning as Captain Steven Hiller. Though even with his personal doubts about the film, the director not only completed the sequel as planned, he also had a pretty good idea as to where Independence Day 3 was going to go at that time.
With past remarks hinting at an “intergalactic journey” that continues the story and characters originated in Independence Day: Resurgence, it was pretty safe to assume that a direct continuation would follow humanity’s teaming with the alien intelligence seen at the end of the film. As it’s been longer than the proposed two-year gap between sequels, one would think a potential sequel may have to change premises. However, Roland Emmerich does have a potential idea for Independence Day 3 in mind:
I have an idea for Independence Day 3, which I actually researched, and was actually only done to do the next one. And the next one is a kind of cool idea, and I would like to do that.
That “next one” Emmerich might be talking about is the first film on his post Midway docket, the sci-fi thriller Moonfall, as when discussing the director’s workload and what he’s working on next, that particular title was mentioned as his follow-up to last year’s World War II-based hit. This is on top of another couple of films he’s developing at the current moment, and an idea for a biopic on Erwin Rommel that he’s itching to tackle.
Unfortunately, if you’re looking for any details as to what Independence Day 3 will be about in this newly-researched version, you’re going to have to wait. Despite politely inquiring if any hints could be given towards the future of humanity’s war with the Harvesters, Roland Emmerich let me down politely with a laugh and a simple "no" when I asked about another sequel's plot.
I guess it would be foolhardy to release any details for an Independence Day 3 at this point because, as we’ve seen in the past, plans can get delayed or cancelled altogether. With hope still very much alive that Disney will make the film as part of the studio's recent crop of live-action remakes, legacyquels, and franchise-friendly fare, Roland Emmerich is wise to keep any possible details under wraps.
That said, the buzz is out there, and if fans want to see a third outing where Jeff Goldblum and an all-star cast save the world with quirky behavior and massive smarts, that’s something folks will have to make known as loudly as possible. For now though, you can see Roland Emmerich’s blockbuster skills at work in your own home, as Midway is available now on Digital HD, 4K Ultra HD , Blu-ray and DVD from Lionsgate.