‘Independence Day: Resurgence’ Now Opens June 24 And Why It Almost Didn’t Happen [Extended Trailer]

Anne Sewell - Author
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Jun. 12 2016, Updated 5:04 a.m. ET

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They definitely messed with the wrong planet, as the Independence Day sequel is now officially opening on June 24 and not July 4, as previously stated.

The original Independence Day epic science fiction movie dates back to 1996, when the film starred Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, and Bill Pullman. It’s been a few years since then, but as announced by 20th Century Fox, the sequel is finally coming to the big screen on June 24 this year.

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That sequel finally arrives 20 years after Independence Day took $817 million at the box office. Reportedly, there was talk back in 2002 of a sequel – inspired by the fear and paranoia generated by 9/11 – but Roland Emmerich, director of the first film, didn’t like the idea.

“Everything sounded like a repeat, and we don’t want to do repeats,” Emmerich explained.

His producing partner, Dean Devlin, said, “If we ever did one, it would have to be as original to the first film as James Cameron’s Aliens was to the first one.”

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It also turns out the sequel, Independence Day: Resurgence, almost didn’t happen, as Smith was unable to reprise his role as Captain Steven Hiller. For this reason, Emmerich reportedly almost lost interest in making the sequel. In fact, he said back in 2011, “Will is such a big part of this movie, I wouldn’t do it without him.”

According to the Mirror Online, Emmerich, along with scriptwriter and producer, Devlin, asked Smith to reprise his role in Resurgence, but at that time, Will had just completed filming Men in Black 3 and was still busy filming the 2013 flop Sci-Fi movie After Earth, which also starred his own son, Jaden Smith.

Emmerich added that his timing was bad when contacting Smith about the sequel and that this was confirmed when the MIB actor responded in the negative, saying he couldn’t do three science-fiction movies in a row.

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While at first Emmerich was disheartened and lost interest in the project, he changed his mind when scriptwriters Nicolas Wright and James A. Woods – said to have rewritten the second half of the film – got involved.

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This involvement led to a change in the story-line of Independence Day 2 which will now center on the orphans whose families were killed during the first alien invasion.

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According to a report by Empire Online, the fact that the film’s script was rewritten also attracted new stars to the Independence Day franchise. While the cast still includes both Goldblum and Pullman, there is the major addition of new cast members, including Liam Hemsworth, Travis Tope, Angela Yeung, Jessie Usher, and Maika Monroe.

Of interest to note, in the film the U.S. has a female president, with Sela Ward playing President Elizabeth Lanford and sounding remarkably like presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton in the trailer above.

The title was the next problem. At first Emmerich toyed with Independence Day: Requiem and Independence Day:Retaliation, but ended up settling on Resurgence, saying that “We call it the War of ’96 in the film.”

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“It’s like a post-World generation that’s unified, and that’s amazing to see a world come together with a common enemy. That’s a resurgence.”

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Emmerich also realized he had always wanted to make a sequel to the movie before he retired, telling Empire Magazine, “Maybe it’s the fact that I’m turning 60 this year. I have a little feeling of ‘Oh gosh’ about it.”

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“I have a lot of crew members who are in this business because of Independence Day… Finally, I just sort of said to myself, ‘Well maybe before I retire I should really do this.’ “

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So, luckily for fans of the first film, Emmerich did, indeed, go ahead with the sequel, which is reportedly the first time the German director has ever directed a sequel to any movie.

Now in the latest news, the sequel is scheduled for release on June 24, despite the fact that it was previously said to be getting a rather more appropriate July 4 premiere.

[Photo via 20th Century Fox]

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