PRE­MIERE

ROLAND EM­MERICH IS BLOW­ING UP THE WORLD AGAIN IN IN­DE­PEN­DENCE DAY: RESUR­GENCE

Empire (UK) - - CONTENTS - OLLY RICHARDS

This month’s nice screen scoops in­clude the Snow White se­quel in which there’s no White; the sun­ni­est, dan­ci­est things from Sun­dance; and some­thing very spe­cial in­volv­ing Billy Zane.

I DON’T THINK IN terms of top­ping what we did last time,” says Roland Em­merich, di­rec­tor of In­de­pen­dence Day: Resur­gence, the se­quel to 1996’s epic sci-fi dis­as­ter movie.

Cor­rect us if we’re wrong, but doesn’t that large spike headed di­rectly into the Thames look sus­pi­ciously like the Burj Khal­ifa? Go on — turn the mag­a­zine up­side down. And, last time we checked, that was in Dubai. And on the ground.

What­ever it is, it’s clear it’s not go­ing to end well for Lon­don, and ev­i­dence that top­ping what he did last time is very much on Em­merich’s agenda. But for the di­rec­tor, a man who’s never seen a ma­jor land­mark he didn’t want to pul­verise like a piñata, it’s not just about blow­ing things up in new and in­ter­est­ing ways. In 1996 it was fine for block­busters to be ab­surd. No­body cared about Will Smith’s in­ner strug­gles — they just wanted him to punch aliens and shoot stuff. In­de­pen­dence Day: Resur­gence is in­vad­ing a very dif­fer­ent world.

“The first movie is 20 years ago so all the peo­ple who were kids [when they watched it] are now grown-ups. This has to be a movie for peo­ple to­day,” says Em­merich. So the story fo­cuses on a new gen­er­a­tion, in­clud­ing Maika Mon­roe as the daugh­ter of Bill Pull­man’s Pres­i­dent Whit­more, and Jessie Usher as the step­son of Will Smith’s now-de­ceased Steven Hiller, cop­ing with what it’s like grow­ing up fa­mous. Yet re­ally it’s still about aliens try­ing to wipe out hu­man­ity, while hu­man­ity, in­clud­ing old-stagers Pull­man and Jeff Gold­blum as snarky sci­en­tist David Levin­son, tries to stop them.

“It’s fun!” ex­claims Em­merich. “I think In­de­pen­dence Day was maybe the first movie to com­bine the alien-in­va­sion movie and the dis­as­ter movie. That com­bi­na­tion is what we’re do­ing again, but this time, with the new tech­nol­ogy, we can do any­thing.” Like drop­ping the world’s tallest build­ing on Lon­don? It would seem so.

IN­DE­PEN­DENCE DAY: RESUR­GENCE IS OUT ON JUNE 24.

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