The sequel to Independence Day, titled ID Forever Part I, has now been pushed back a year to July 1st, 2016, according to Entertainment Weekly. The new release date falls just two days shy of the original movie’s 20th anniversary.
The movie will take place, fittingly, two decades after the conclusion of the first one, when alien reinforcements show up in response to a distress call sent out before Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum finished defeating the original invaders. The new story will follow a character played by Ross Bagley, who will portray the stepson of Will Smith’s character. Smith has not signed onto the project since — director Roland Emmerich told the New York Daily News that the actor is “too expensive.” Goldblum and Bill Pullman, who played the president of the United States, are reportedly set to return.
Emmerich, who directed the original, has signed on to helm both halves of the two-part sequel. Earlier this year, he explained to EW why the aliens are returning so many years after the original. “The humans knew that one day the aliens would come back. And they know that the only way you can really travel in space is through wormholes. So for the aliens, it could take two or three weeks, but for us that’s 20 or 25 years,” he said. Emmerich also said by the time the new movie takes place, humans have been studying the aliens’ technology. While they can’t duplicate it, because it’s organic, they know how to, say, put an antigravity device in an airplane. The first part will conclude “on a little success,” at least enough “to give the humans hope,” building up to a final battle with the aliens in the second installment.
Although the original didn’t make Peter Travers’ list of the 10 Best Movies of 1996, the special-effects-driven blockbuster did rake in more than $300 million in its domestic release and close to a billion dollars worldwide. EW’s report did not specify whether money or some other factor prompted the change in release date.