I just happened to be browsing through Rotten Tomatoes, looking for info on upcoming films, and came across a synopsis for "Independence Day 2," which I hadn’t seen before today (although it may have been released already and I just missed it). But I figured if I wasn’t aware, some of you likely also aren’t.
So here’s what it is as of right now: "We always knew they were coming back. After INDEPENDENCE DAY redefined the event movie genre, the next epic chapter delivers global catastrophe on an unimaginable scale. Using recovered alien technology, the nations of Earth have collaborated on an immense defense program to protect the planet. But nothing can prepare us for the aliens’ advanced and unprecedented force. Only the ingenuity of a few brave men and women can bring our world back from the brink of extinction."
No specifics on how the storylines of each character (especially the new additions) will feed the main narrative; but, at least we now know what that narrative is.
Here’s what else we know thus far…
Most recently, British actor, Deobia Oparei (Areo Hotah in HBO’s "Game Of Thrones"), joined the cast of Fox’s "Independence Day 2," which Jessie T. Usher (star of the LeBron James-produced Starz series, "Survivor’s Remorse") is playing the lead in (essentially replacing Will Smith, as likely his son).
Oparei will play a character named Dikembe, and is described as the Oxford-educated son of an African warlord. I’ll reserve commentary until I actually see the film; although color me nervous with that description, as I’m wondering how the character will fit into the movie’s overall "alien invasion" narrative. It’s just so specific.
Also to appear in the film are returning stars Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman and Vivica A. Fox, who’ll be joined by other newcomers in Liam Hemsworth, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Sela Ward.
20th Century Fox is moving ahead with the first of 2 announced "Independence Day" sequels, which will be released during the summer of 2016 (June 24), 20 years after the first film’s theatrical debut.
As for Will Smith, he’s not returning, and will indeed sit out the next 2 films, paving the way for Usher to take over, in a handing-off of the baton.
As writer/director Rolland Emmerich said previously, the sequels would be "a bit like the sons takeover," meaning Will Smith probably wasn’t expected to be part of the sequels in the first place – at least, not in any meaningful way – and the storylines for each film will instead focus on a new generation of human heroes, including Will Smith’s character’s eventual stepson (Vivica Fox’s kid) in "ID4" (who was played by Ross Bagley, now 25 years old).
It was previously reported that the 2 films will be called: "ID Forever – Part 1," and "ID Forever – Part 2."
We’ll see how this all shakes out. I haven’t exactly been longing for "ID4" sequels, but I’m sure I’ll still see them when they are released.