Aw Hell Yeah! Independence Day 2 Set for 2015 (But Will it be Big Willie Style?)

Will Smith in Independence Day (1996) Movie Image

Fox has officially set Roland Emmerich’s “Independence Day 2”, the follow-up to his 1996 sci-fi hit “Independence Day”, to unfurl against the real Independence Day on July 3rd, 2015.

Emmerich has been talking up the sequels (yes, I said sequels) to “ID4” pretty much every time he’s out there promoting a new movie. With his actioner “White House Down” set for release soon, Fox has decided to back up the man this time and given the sequel an actual release date, which indicates the studio is moving forward with the sequels (or at least, the first one).

Independence Day (1996) Movie PosterThe big question is: will Will Smith return as Captain Steven Hiller?

Now I’m as big a fan of Jeff Goldblum’s nerdy character or Bill Paxton’s Pullman’s heroic Prez as much as the next guy, but let’s face it, an “Independence Day” sequel without Will Smith is, well, kinda like a “Men in Black” sequel without Will Smith. Sure, you could do it, but why would you want to?

And no, pointing to Smith’s “After Earth”, which is still struggling mightily to recoup its $130 million production (plus promotions) budget doesn’t count. “After Earth” was a bad move — putting Will Smith in a sci-fi movie, but then keeping him confined to a crashed ship with busted legs? That’s just dumb.

Emmerich has previously said that “Independence Day 2” would take place 20 years after the first movie (which would fit in with the real-world timeline) and find a new wave of aliens coming through a wormhole, since it took them that long to received a distress beacon sent by their defeated comrades back on Earth. In the years since the invasion, humanity has begun to incorporate alien tech into our everyday life, so when the alien fleet returns for a second invasion, humans now have a better fighting chance. The sequel will include all the same characters, along with their children … like their sons. (Hey, Jaden, here’s another movie starring role for ya, buddy!)

I’m guessing Emmerich will stick to that premise, because it actually sounds pretty decent, though given the results of “After Earth”, they may want to rethink that whole “next generation” bit.

Here’s a look back at “Independence Day” in case you’ve forgotten. It has been almost 20 years, after all.