In 1996 director Roland Emmerich followed up his previous film ‘Stargate’ with ‘Independence Day’ which went on to gross approximately $817 million worldwide followed by a reported $177 million in rental revenues all from a $75 million production budget.
The alien invasion film was a huge success, it taught audiences that apple mac computers are of the utmost importance when hacking into an alien network, that alcoholic crop dusters are able to fly FA-18 Super Hornets in combat against alien aircraft, and that destroying major land marks in a film provides for an unforgettable advertising campaign.
The project assembled quite a cast at the time as well, Will Smith was on the rise at the time but not yet as expensive to employ as he is currently, Jeff Goldblum who had previously made an impression through his involvement in the Jurrasic Park films, Bill Pullman who played to his charismatic strengths in the film and a far too brief appearance by Harry Connick Jnr.
In the years since, Emmerich has gone on to make a number of different disaster epics including ‘Godzilla’, ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ and ‘2012’, however it seems that there is movement towards him returning to his roots with two potential sequels to his 1996 hit film.
20th Century Fox appear to be enthusiastic about the idea, with Emmerich and writer Dean Devlin reported to be finalising the screenplays by the end of 2011. There has been further speculation that the two potential sequels would be mostly self-contained but will include macro plot threads that carry across from one sequel to the next.
What we can presumably take away from that is that the two films would be more akin to sequels of a franchise such as X-Men, or Star Wars/Star Trek, as opposed to being one large film split in two like the Matrix sequels or the final two Harry Potter films.
If the studio views the scripts favourably and production gains momentum we could see filming go ahead as soon as next year, however whether they’ll be able to reassemble the original cast members, or at least those who’s character’s survived the first film, remains to be seen.