So, incredibly bummer summer news, you guys: Chumbawamba, a band that has actually been around for 30 years and became fleetingly famous for exactly one song that made sense only to people from the UK, has announced that they've broken up. And this means that something needs to fill the void of "ideas and melodies, endless meetings and European tours, press releases, singalong choruses and Dada sound poetry."
I can think of no better filler than another Independence Day movie. Who's with me?
When we last left our trusty planet rescuers in Independence Day, it was 1996 (that's 16 years ago, kids), Bill Pullman's character was the new President of Earth, Jeff Goldblum was the most accomplished cable repair guy in the universe, and Will Smith was a newly-minted blockbuster star. And all their characters were getting incredibly laid that night. Earth was safe from the swarming fleet of needlessly violent aliens (who, really, could have been compared to the white Europeans who came to North American and decided that the Native Americans who already lived there, um, didn't anymore), and their entire operation was destroyed.
Or so we thought. At least that's what ID4 co-writer/producer Dean Devlin wants us to think. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, he says that he's re-teamed up with fellow co-writer/director Roland Emmerich for the first time in over a decade and they've both come up with a story that will make a sequel totally worthwhile and not just a blatant money-grabber. Well, that's a relief.
"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," Devlin explained. "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," he continued. "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.' "
Independence Day is a ridiculous movie, and that's exactly what it was supposed to be, and that's why I love it. This is easily one of the best examples of a movie whose expectations are different from something like, say, Avatar. When one watches Independence Day, they should only be expecting the following things: Will Smithisms, Jeff Goldblum stammering, a presidential speech that no nonfictional president would ever be able to deliver, and scary, scary aliens blowing up the freaking world. And that is exactly what we got, and that is why Independence Day is great.
So, what to expect from a sequel? If Goldblum is not on board, then I'm not sure I am, either. We're already going to miss Harry Connick, Jr., so Goldblum would just be missed way too much. (I hope Jeff Goldblum is aware of this.) Pullman's President Whitmore will no longer be president, so it's understandable if he's not on board. Smith... will probably do it, and it looks like he wants his meddling kids in it, too. But Crushable has another theory: Smith's character, Steven Hiller, as this movie's president. That "crazy enough to work" idea came from Emmerich in late 2010, and I have to say that if that's where they're going to take this movie, then I will follow. It makes some actual sense, too: Hiller was part of saving the world and has an exemplary military record as a result. Because he can fly alien spacecraft just by watching it, and this makes his foreign policy credentials bulletproof. Goldblum's character would never try to become president, and would probably be claiming to have invented Siri.
Guys, this might be a great idea. I think Devlin, Emmerich, and Smith should just take this thing off the deep end and go for it. The special effects will be amazing, it will make tons of money regardless of the reviews it gets -- and it might even be just as awesome as the first one. Maybe. But at least we can say it wasn't hastily thrown together for the empty purpose of making money. Devlin and Emmerich really look like they want to go on this ride again, and if they can pull it off, I say let's do it. Let's kick the tires and light the fires, Big Daddy.
As for Chumbawamba, there will be no sequel. But at least we'll have Run DMC.
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When she isn't nerding out that the holidays are coming, Jamie is a reader at Monday Night Fan Fiction at Fontana's in Chinatown, NYC (next date: TBA, 7:00 PM). All work is original, written by the readers, so if you have a brilliant fanfic idea stuck in your head, send it via Twitter: @jamielikesthis