When Independence Day exploded onto the big screen in 1996, it became a box office smash hit. Its effective mix of science fiction, ground-breaking special effects, and disaster movie themes turned it into the quintessential summer blockbuster, and paved the way for director Roland Emmerich to wage cinematic war on countless iconic landmarks in subsequent movies, such as Godzilla, The Day After Tomorrow, 2012 and White House Down. Surprisingly, a sequel has been slow to develop – but the wait is almost over now, as finally, almost two decades later, Independence Day 2 is on its way – with Jessie Usher now cast.
Plot details are, of course, tightly under wraps, but we can surmise from the casting that a high level of continuity can be expected. Jeff Goldblum will apparently reprise his role as codebreaker and day saviour, David Levinson, and Jessie Usher is set to play the son of Will Smith’s Independence Day character, Captain Steven Hiller. Will Smith will not be returning, but it is fairly safe to assume that the character of the son – to be played by Usher – is actually Hiller’s stepson, played by Ross Bagley in the first film.
Hunger Games franchise star Liam Hemsworth will take an undisclosed lead role in the film, but beyond that, wider casting has yet to be announced. Taking a brief headcount of survivors of the first star-packed film, however, it will be interesting to see whether Bill Pullman, Margaret Colin, Vivica A. Fox, and Mae Whitman will also reprise their roles.
This high profile sequel represents the first big budget film opportunity for Jessie Usher, who has been quietly impressing television audiences with the first season of Survivor’s Remorse, on Starz. While that show has been quickly picked up for a second season, Usher has been honing his skills in independent film, such as When The Game Stands Tall.
Independence Day 2 is produced by the screenwriter of the original, Dean Devlin, while Carter Blanchard (Good vs Evil), new screenwriter James A. Woods, and Nicolas Wright (Toutouffe) have penned this script. The film is scheduled for release on June 24th, 2016 – just ahead of the twentieth anniversary of the release of its legendary predecessor.