EXCLUSIVE: While talking with director Roland Emmerich earlier today, as he does press for the forthcoming home video release of “White House Down,” we had to inquire about the state of his highly anticipated “Independence Day 2.” He sighed when we asked about the film, and claimed that it was, “A daily battle … The budget, the schedules, the actors … ” Still, he promised, “It’s looking good.” The director was more elusive, however, when we pressed him about the potential involvement of Will Smith, something that seems to fluctuate wildly every time someone asks him about it.
After refusing to answer our question about Smith, he let slip that there are “two versions” of the script that have been written. Wait, there’s a version of the script with Smith’s character and a version without? “Yes,” Emmerich confirmed. When we remarked that this plan was pretty nutty, Emmerich just laughed. He also said that the script work by “White House Down” scribe Jamie Vanderbilt had been completed (on both versions, presumably). Somewhat optimistically, the director remarked that, “It’s looking good [for the version with Smith].”
In the original film Smith played a hotshot fighter pilot with a sexy stripper girlfriend and an adorable child. That child has been long-rumored to be an essential part of the new film (potentially being played by “Fruitvale Station” star Michael B. Jordan). Returning cast members supposedly making the return for the sequel include Bill Pullman and Jeff Goldblum. So far the plot for the sequel is being kept under wraps but it’s probably safe to assume that it will involve aliens attacking earth via really cool-looking death rays.
We also had to ask if the movie was still supposed to be broken up into two films or if it would remain as a single. Emmerich confirmed that it will be just one movie. “I thought about spending four years of my life on one movie and I didn’t want to turn into something from the movie. It’s a movie about aliens, I don’t want to turn into an alien.”
“Independence Day 2” is slated to hit theaters on July 3, 2015. That is, of course, if Emmerich wins the battle.