Independence Day Writer Gave The Studio Back Their Money The First Time He Tried To Write A Sequel

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When we first heard about an Independence Day sequel we weren’t really sure how we felt except to say it had to have Jeff Goldblum attached to star. Well producer/writer of the original, Dean Devlin, is still working on the script but it turns out he tried once and was so disappointed with it he gave the studio back their money. Find out exactly how that went down plus some new details on Independence Day 2 and whether or not Will Smith will be along for the ride. 

Devlin spoke to Collider on the Saturn Award red carpets recently and found out the sequel will account for the 16 year gap between the first and second films. Basically, things will be happening in real time.

“I can tell you that [director] Roland Emmerich and I are working together for the first time in eleven years and we are working really hard to try and make this happen,” said Devlin. “I don’t know if we’re gonna pull it off. I don’t know if it is going to happen. But I can tell you that we’re spending a lot of effort, that we’re writing together for the first time in eleven years. And we want to make it happen.”

Previously it was reported that we’d be getting not one but two more Independence Day films from Emmerich and Devlin but that wasn’t mentioned this time around. What Devlin did mention was that this wasn’t his first attempt at writing Independence Day 2.

“Many years ago, I was actually hired to write the sequel to Independence Day. And I wrote a sequel. And they paid me a boatload of money to go write this thing. And after I wrote it, I read it and I gave them back the money and I said, ‘look, this is an okay movie I just wrote. But it’s not worthy of the sequel to Independence Day.’ And I literally gave back the money,” he said. “And afterwards I said, ‘You know what? I’m not even going to try anymore.’ And it was only about a year-and-a-half ago that Roland called me up and said, ‘We should try again.’”

He gave Hollywood their money back. That’s certainly not something you see every day.

So what exactly can we expect to see from Independence Day 2?

“I can’t tell you anything about the script,” said Devlin when asked if Smith’s character was a focal point of the sequel story. But he did say it will feel “organic” to the first film. “I think that the story that we finally cracked is finally worthy of a sequel. And I think that the people who have been fans will feel like they got the movie they were waiting for.”

Are you ready for more epic Presidential speeches and alien punching?

(via Collider)

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Jill Pantozzi
Jill Pantozzi is a pop-culture journalist and host who writes about all things nerdy and beyond! She’s Editor in Chief of the geek girl culture site The Mary Sue (Abrams Media Network), and hosts her own blog “Has Boobs, Reads Comics” ( She co-hosts the Crazy Sexy Geeks podcast along with superhero historian Alan Kistler, contributed to a book of essays titled “Chicks Read Comics,” (Mad Norwegian Press) and had her first comic book story in the IDW anthology, “Womanthology.” In 2012, she was featured on National Geographic’s "Comic Store Heroes," a documentary on the lives of comic book fans and the following year she was one of many Batman fans profiled in the documentary, "Legends of the Knight."