The aliens are back, and they are not happy. Twenty years after the citizens of Earth stopped the alien invasion, they’re full of revenge and ready to attack in the first released trailer of the “Independence Day” sequel, “Independence Day: Resurgence.”
The aliens aren’t the only ones coming back. The director of the original “Independence Day,” Roland Emmerich, is back in the director’s chair, 20 years after the first movie was released. Emmerich managed to also bring back most of the original cast, such as leads Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman as well as Judd Hirsch, Vivica A. Fox and Brent Spiner. Emmerich also enlisted “Hunger Games” star Liam Hemsworth to take part in the sequel.
As exciting as this may be, the question still remains: where is Will Smith?
According to an interview Emmerich did with Cinemablend, he states, “In the very beginning, I wanted to work with (Smith), and he was excited to be in it,” Emmerich said in an interview with Cinemablend. “But then, after awhile, he was tired of sequels, and he did another science fiction film, which was his father-son story. So, he opted out.”
The father-son, sci-fi film Emmerich refers to is ”After Earth,” which Smith acted in alongside his son, Jaden. “After Earth” was not a huge hit by any means and was reviewed poorly by critics. Smith and his son both received Golden Raspberry Awards, recognition for the worst in film, as worst actor and worst supporting actor. It still seems ridiculous that he would turn a guaranteed successful role down, being that the first film was the highest grossing movie of 1996, but maybe, he just didn’t want to risk it.
With Smith not reprising the role of Steven Hiller, viewers are left with many questions. Such as, what happened to Hiller? What took place within those 20 years? Luckily, a new viral website, War of 1996 (warof1996.com), was released by the movie’s marketing team to help answer any lingering questions. The website is organized like a timeline. It starts on July 2, 1996, with the arrival of the aliens. This is a useful tool to understand the backstory of the film and what happened within those two decades.
The trailer shows Goldblum reprising his character, David, who says that the government used the alien technology from the first movies to increase the defense systems and weaponry of the United States. Then, he drops the fact that after 20 years, it wont be enough for what is about to come.
While watching the trailer, I can tell right off the bat that the special effects for “Independence Day: Resurgence” will be insane and is a huge improvement from the previous movie, even though they were pretty good for their time. The aliens are also coming back with so much force that Emmerich had to increase the scope of this sequel. For instance, in the trailer, we can see Hemsworth and Goldblum on the moon — like, in outer space.
“It’s definitely bigger than the last one,” Goldblum says as the last line in the trailer. “Independence Day: Resurgence” is set to hit theaters on June 24, 2016.