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Before this month’s Independence Day: Resurgence, director Roland Emmerich and producer Dean Devlin had plans for an earlier follow-up to the 1996 alien invasion movie — one that would have taken the franchise in a very different direction. Ahead of the true sequel’s release, Emmerich has spilled the beans on the road not taken.
“It was after 9/11 and Dean and I wanted to make the movie about peace, and it just didn’t work,” Emmerich shared with Empire, answering a fan question about the unmade second movie. “There’s still an element of that in the new one, but that version was only about that.”
The director described the plot of the unmade sequel as “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.” He joked that the idea “didn’t have an Independence Day feel. Only the alien ship was destroyed!”
Emmerich also revealed that he’d originally intended the first Independence Day as a one-off movie, but “over the years I realized how iconic the film had become for people and I was repeatedly asked by [20th Century] Fox to do it.” He’s learned from his experience for Resurgence, however.
“If it’s successful enough, yes [there’ll be a third movie], because it’s set up for a sequel,” he revealed, joking that audiences wouldn’t have to wait as long as they did for the second in the series. “In 20 years?” he asked, “No, I wouldn’t want to make it with a Zimmer frame!”
Independence Day: Resurgence will be released June 24.
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