Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ll know that ‘Independence Day: Resurgence’ is out next week, two decades since the original. The hype leading up to the event has been pretty intense, with TV spots, online campaigns, and some neat little vids like the one below.
When ID4 (remember all the branding back in ’96?) came out, it was massive. Roland Emmerich delivered what’s become the go-to example of the summer blockbuster - something he’s now known for being involved in: ‘Godzilla,’ ‘The Day After Tomorrow,’ ‘2012,’ ‘White House Down’. Most of these films involved good-ol’ American spirit overcoming the obstacle, be it aliens, or terrorists, or a really big storm. At least ‘Independence Day’ acknowledged the existence of the rest of the planet (including Australia!). Happily, Emmerich returns as director for the sequel.
The film cemented Will Smith’s reputation as the attitude-filled hero who would go on to lead many more sci-fi action adventures. Most are pretty good (‘MIB’) while others... not so much (‘After Earth’). Watching ID4 now, Smith’s performance seems over-the-top and just a tad too bombastic. But somehow he makes the brash fighter pilot work and delivers some of the best lines of the film (“Now that’s what I call a close encounter”).
Other reputations well and truly cemented were Jeff Goldblum’s affected scientist. As David Levinson, he added a heavy dose of awkwardness compared to the leather-clad Ian Malcolm. His nerdy brainiacs now litter cinematic history with their distinct speech patterns and lanky charm. Mary McDonnell’s career didn’t exactly suffer from her turn as First Lady, despite her short time on screen. Going on to star in what has to be one of the best science fiction TV shows ever made as President Laura Roslin in 'Battlestar Galactica'. Adam Baldwin (yes, he was actually in there!) might be best known as Jayne from ‘Firefly’ but he’s also spent a bit of time playing military types thanks to his role as Major Mitchell.
Have you noticed a pattern yet? Once you do sci-fi, you tend to do more! (Do I even need to mention Brent Spiner?)
Some of these familiar faces will be returning for ‘Resurgence.’ Goldblum, Spiner, Bill Pulman, Judd Hirsch and Vivica A. Fox among them. New faces include Liam Hemsworth (who’s in everything at the moment, have you noticed?), Maika Munroe and Charlotte Gainsbourg. Munroe will be appearing as Patricia Whitmore, the munchkin from the first film. Mae Whitman (that must have been confusing) played her in ID4 and has since made quite a few decent teenage-y films and shows. She headed 2015’s ‘The Duff’ which was pretty good, so it seems strange she’s not reprising her ID4 character. The timing works, and all the other characters have aged, so whatever the reason is, I hope it’s a good one.
I’d also love to know the real reasons why Will Smith isn’t back. His role in ID4 was so integral, that he’s had to be killed off for the sequel to explain his absence. Luckily, the character’s death has provided material for the viral marketing campaign leading up to the release of ‘Resurgence’.
Are you looking forward to this long-awaited sequel? Let us know in the comments if you think ‘Independence Day: Resurgence’ will live up to the hype.