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Roland Emmerich talks returning to Independence Day after 20 years and much more PLUS new video reveals why Dr Okun is back…

June 19th, 2016 by Marc Comments

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We’re less than a week out from Independence Day: Resurgence and writer/director Roland Emmerich has become guest editor of Empire Magazine and, along with the duties of that he has shared some very interesting tidbits about the new movie.

He took a number of readers’ questions and answered them accordingly, here’s the best responses:

In the early Noughties you and Dean Devlin wrote a script for an Independence Day sequel, but ended up returning the money to the studio. Could you elaborate on that version of the story? Can’t wait for Resurgence! – Darren Robins

It was after 9/11 and Dean and I wanted to make the movie about peace, and it just didn’t work. There’s still an element of that in the new one, but that version was only about that. We shoot aliens down accidentally and then at the end of the movie they land on the White House lawn and say “we come in peace” and that was it. It was just too weak an idea and we didn’t really want to do it. It didn’t have an Independence Day feel. Only the alien ship was destroyed!

How did you come across Liam Hemsworth and why did you chose him for the role? – Yas Rahimian

I was very fortunate, I met pretty much every young actor of his age – everyone wanted to be in this film – and I just liked him the best. He was the closest to how I envisaged Jake Morrison to be. I’d seen him in The Hunger Games and some other stuff. 

Given that the original Independence Day was initially drawn up as a sequel to Stargate, are there any elements in Resurgence that still hold part of that Stargate link? – Herbie Zalatasarii

That’s one of the myths out there. There’s no overlap between those two worlds.

Will there be an Independence Day 3? – William Wilcock 

If it’s successful enough, yes, because it’s set up for a sequel. In 20 years? No, I wouldn’t want to make it with a Zimmer frame! 

Who would win in a fight: Independence Day’s alien or the xenomorph from Alien? – Vena Dacent

Ridley’s alien would win. That was the most vicious alien I’ve ever seen. You can kill ours from behind! You can’t kill the Alien from behind. They don’t bleed acid, there’s only slime coming out and it’s harmless slime. 

Did the US Air Force have any part in helping with the film? I only ask because in the first film they chose not to get involved because you included Area 51 in the plot. – Dean Short

They wanted us to change some stuff in the script, but we didn’t want to because it was essential to the story. They wanted to change the ways our pilots talked to each other, but when you do it like they want, it doesn’t feel real. It was silly stuff. 

Why did you wait 20 years to revisit ID4? – Joseph R. Paulick

I’d never planned to make a sequel – I always felt that Independence Day was a standalone film. But over the years I realised how iconic the film had become for people and I was repeatedly asked by [20th Century] Fox to do it. What really did it was just how amazing film technology is these days and how restricted I felt in ’95/’96 when I did the original one. But it’s not a traditional sequel. 

What was your favourite moment on the set of Independence Day: Resurgence? – Martin Richmond

Probably the moment when Brent Spiner wakes up. I laughed my arse off. 

Oh, and speaking of Brent Spiner… wasn’t his character killed in the first movie?

This new video promo answers that question.


Independence Day: Resurgence is out in the UK on June 23

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Marc is a self-confessed nerd. Ever since seeing Star Wars for the first time around 1979 he’s been an unapologetic fan of the Wars and still believes, with Clone Wars and now Underworld, we are yet to see the best Star Wars. He’s a dad of two who now doesn’t have the time (or money) to collect the amount of toys, comics, movies and books he once did, much to the relief of his long-suffering wife. In the real world he’s a graphic designer. He started Following the Nerd because he was tired of searching a million sites every day for all the best news that he loves and decided to create one place where you can go to get the whole lot. Secretly he longs to be sitting in the cockpit of his YT-1300 Corellian Transport ship with his co-pilot Chewie, roaming the universe, waiting for his next big adventure, but feels just at home watching cartoons with his kids….