Earlier this month, Armageddon specialist Roland Emmerich hinted that he and his former creative partner Dean Devlin were looking to resurrect the long-rumoured sequel to 1996’s blockbuster alien invasion flick Independence Day, and now Coming Soon has caught up with producer Devlin for an update on the status of ID4 2, which seems to have been in development from the moment that 20th Century Fox tallied up the box-office returns on the smash-hit original.
“I can’t say that it’s going to happen, but I can say for the first time that for the first time in eleven years, Roland Emmerich and I are working together,” says Devlin, whose other collaborations with Emmerich include Stargate (1994), Godzilla (1998) and The Patriot (2000). “There are a lot of moving pieces that are coming together. I don’t know if it will come together, but we want it to happen. This is the first time since we made the original that Roland and I are excited about doing it and feeling like we have the right idea and we have our fingers crossed.”
“We never wanted to do [a sequel] unless it felt germane to the story,” he continues. “In fact, 10 years ago I was hired to write a sequel to Independence Day and they paid me a lot of money. After I finished the script, I gave the money back and I said, ‘Don’t even read the script. The script is okay, but we can’t make an okay sequel to Independence Day. The fans deserve better than this’… And I really decided then that I was never going to do a sequel. Until about a year and a half ago when Roland called me up and said, ‘Let’s try again.’ So we went out to Palm Springs and we cracked it. We said, ‘That’s a real sequel. That’s a sequel that makes sense to do. That’s a sequel that won’t disappoint the fans. That one feels like we always intended to do that in the first place.’ So I want it to happen. I don’t know if it will.”
The original Independence Day opened in July 1996 and went on to earn over $817m at the global box-office, which at the time made it the second-highest grossing film ever released behind Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park. It also propelled star Will Smith into the Hollywood A-list, and last year Smith was reported to have demanded $50m to reprise his role as US Marine Corps Captain Steven Hiller for two back-to-back sequels, which led to Fox pulling out of negotiations. Nevertheless, the studio remains keen to exploit the property, and is busy converting the film into 3D for a re-release on July 3rd, 2013.