Independence Day: Resurgence was originally going to be about peace but "it just didn’t work"

The various trailers for Independence Day: Resurgence haven't shied away from teasing an abundance of planetary destruction. That's very much in keeping with the 1996 original, which makes it a little surprising that a very different story was briefly on the table for the sequel.

"It was after 9/11 and [producer] Dean [Devlin] and I wanted to make the movie about peace, and it just didn’t work", director Roland Emmerich told Empire. "There’s still an element of that in the new one, but that version was only about that. 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. It didn’t have an Independence Day feel. Only the alien ship was destroyed!"

Accidentally shooting down aliens who only want peace is not a bad idea for a movie, but one downed spaceship just doesn't quite fit the bill of an Independence Day movie. Indeed, with Emmerich relishing the chance to play with special effects this time round, expect the destruction to look better than ever:

"I always felt that 'Independence Day' was a standalone film. 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. What really did it was just how amazing film technology is these days and how restricted I felt in '95/'96 when I did the original one. But it's not a traditional sequel".

Something tells me we won't be waiting another 20 years for Independence Day 3: RIP Earth if Independence Day: Resurgence is a hit. 

Directed by Roland Emmerich and starring Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Judd Hirsch, Vivica A. Fox, Brent Spiner, Liam Hemsworth, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Jessie Usher, Maika Monroe, and Sela Ward, Independence Day: Resurgence opens in UK cinemas on June 23, 2016 before hitting US theatres a day later.

Images: 20th Century Fox

Amon Warmann

Amon is a contributing editor and columnist for Empire magazine, but is also a Film and TV writer for GamesRadar+, Total Film, and others. He has also written for NME, Composer Mag, and more, along with being a film critic for TalkSport. He is also the co-host of the Fade to Black Podcast, and a video mashup creator. Can also do a pretty good Bane impersonation.