Hard to believe, but it’s been 16 years since “Independence Day”. I gotta say, that film, uh, doesn’t really stand the test of time. Nowadays when I watch it, I kinda cringe at the super cheesy parts, and there were a lot of those. But it was a real crowd-pleaser that made over $800 million worldwide. In 1996 numbers, that’s HUGE. So where the hell is the sequel? Well, it’s coming, according to the film’s original writer/producer Dean Devlin.
Nowadays Devlin spends his time on TV working on his TV show “Leverage”, but to hear him tell it, Devlin is about to re-team with his “ID4″ buddy Roland Emmerich for a sequel any day now. He tells THR:
I can tell you that Roland and I have been working together for the first time in 11 years and we’re every excited about the idea of doing it. Whether or not we can make this happen, if we can get all the pieces to come together, that’s gonna be challenging. But creatively, for the very first time since we did the original, I feel we have a worthy concept, a worthy path to go.
So why hasn’t it happened earlier?
We resisted doing the sequel for years because we still wanted to honor the first one. The first one gave us all careers and we really love that movie and loved the experience. We didn’t want to make a movie because it was financially a good idea, we only wanted to do it when we had an idea and a concept that creatively felt like it honored the first one—that it felt like an organic sequel as opposed to ‘let’s just go make some more money’… I feel like we got it. I think it took a long time, but I feel like we finally got something that really feels like, ‘that’s worth seeing as a sequel to Independence Day.’
Devlin confirms that they’re currently talking with “everybody” about coming back. That basically means they’re trying to convince Will Smith to come back. Everyone else is incidental. If Smith doesn’t come back, there is no sequel. That’s the long and short of it in today’s market.
Meanwhile, another franchise he’d love to revisit is “Stargate”. Now that the TV shows have all wound down (or in some cases, mercifully killed off), Devlin thinks the time might be right to come back:
Stargate has always had this empty hole. When we made the first one, we always intended on doing part two and three and we were prevented for years. And our hope is that we can get another chance at Stargate and tell the entire story we wanted to tell.
Honestly, I’d much rather see a “Stargate 2″ than an “Independence Day 2″, which I thought was a pretty self-contained story. Of course, the “Stargate” TV shows have taken the movie and run with it for years now, building up their own bible-sized mythology along the way, so if a “Stargate 2″ does happen, it’ll be interesting to see if they go back to the first movie, or incorporate the TV shows that have come since.
If, you know, we ever get another “Stargate” anything…