Award-winning director Roland Emmerich has revealed a glut of details about two upcoming sequels to his 1996 sci-fi blockbuster Independence Day, including the fact that Bill Pullman has been confirmed to return in the new films.
“There may be some familiar faces in the sequels — Bill Pullman has already confirmed that he is onboard; Will Smith has not — their storylines will focus on a new generation of human heroes, including the stepson of Will Smith’s Independence Day character,” Emmerich told Entertainment Weekly.
“It’s still some of the same characters, but also new younger characters; it’s a little bit like the sons take over.”
The films, currently titled ID Forever parts 1 and 2, will take place 20 years after the events of the original, when a fleet of aliens respond to a distress signal sent back to the extraterrestrials’ home planet.
"The humans knew that one day the aliens would come back, and they know that the only way you can really travel in space is through wormholes," said Emmerich. “So for the aliens, it could take two or three weeks, but for us that’s 20 or 25 years.”
Alien technology will also play a big part in the sequels, which will see the human race attempting to replicate gadgets used by ID’s invaders for use in everyday life.
“It’s a changed world. It’s like parallel history. [Humans] have harnessed all this alien technology. We don’t know how to duplicate it because it’s organically-grown technology, but we know how to take an antigravity device and put it in a human airplane,” said the director.
Emmerich and producer Dean Devlin have completed draft scripts for both sequels and handed them over to The Amazing Spider-Man screenwriter James Vanderbilt for a re-write.
Independence Day, perhaps best-remembered for an iconic sequence in which an alien spacecraft blows the White House to smithereens, starred Will Smith as a Marine Corps captain who leads a group of humans in a counterattack against alien invaders who wreak havoc across the Earth.
Watch a trailer for the original below: