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