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Roland Emmerich Describes the Post-War World of Independence Day: Resurgence


The events of Independence Day: Resurgence take place 20 years after the end of Independence Day — which makes sense, given that two decades have passed between the making of the two movies. A lot’s happened for our heroes since the “War of 1996,” which is how they’ve chosen to refer to their first alien altercation. Director Roland Emmerich explained to /Film that Resurgence depicts “a different world,” immersed in post-war recovery:

When I talk to my Dad — he was from the post-World War II generation — they were deeply formed by this experience of worldwide war. In a way, this is the same thing. I think like two, three billion people died [in Independence Day], so everybody lost someone. That’s a different world. It’s also a world which knew that they were coming back, because they found evidence. So it’s this world which finally had to really unite, but it’s in a very organized way. So the greatest nations and the biggest nations of the world work together in a defense program. That is a quite different world, and a very interesting world. And in this world we see the old characters — how they kind of evolved — and the new characters, young characters.

The film will continue in the vein of the first one by focusing on a character-driven story of grit and determination, Emmerich explains:

It’s not only about the dying. It’s about the surviving. Surviving is much more interesting. I also can never show, really, how people die. It’s just in your head — that you know they die. [That is] something I’m totally insisting on. I did some R-rated films — I did The Patriot, which was very brutal and gruesome — but that was a war which really happened and was historic, so I couldn’t … [trails off] But in my films, like in 2012, where actually the whole world dies, you don’t really feel it. You understand it intellectually. It’s more about how certain people survive, and why. That’s what I’m interested in.

As for the aliens’ attitude?

They’re kind of nastier than in the first one. This time they’re CG. With the first one, [we were] wiggling shit — we had little puppets! And now we have a company like WETA, who does the best creature work, working with us. So that’s exciting to me.

There’s something to be said for the value of practical effects and “wiggling shit” — that’s part of what gave the first movie its charm. Here’s hoping that the CG versions of the aliens still pack the same punch that they did back in 1996 … or an even “nastier” punch, as promised.

(via /Film)

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Maddy Myers, journalist and arts critic, has written for the Boston Phoenix, Paste Magazine, MIT Technology Review, and tons more. She is a host on a videogame podcast called Isometric (, and she plays the keytar in a band called the Robot Knights (