By ANGELA DAWSON
Front Row Features
Twenty years after mysterious aliens nearly wiped out humankind, they’re back with a vengeance in “Independence Day: Resurgence,” the explosive sequel to the original blockbuster hit, “Independence Day.” The action-packed sci-fi thriller is available Tuesday, Oct. 18 on 4K Ultra HD, 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray and DVD.
Using recovered alien technology, the nations of Earth developed a vast defense program to protect the planet, led by Jeff Goldblum, returning as brilliant scientist David Levinson. But nothing could prepare us for a new invasion of unprecedented scale—and only the ingenuity of a few brave men and women can save our world from extinction. The action film also stars Liam Hemsworth and Jesse T. Usher alongside returning fan favorites Bill Pullman and Brent Spiner.
The home entertainment editions of “Independence Day: Resurgence” is chock-full of special features include eight deleted scenes, a featurette on “The War of 1996,” the morning show parody “It’s Early, ABQ” featuring Goldblum, Hemsworth and Judd Hirsch, a gag reel, audio commentary from director Roland Emmerich, the documentary “Another Day: The Making of ‘Independence Day: Resurgence’” and more.
At a kickoff event of the home entertainment release of this action-packed film, Roland Emmerich spoke about returning to helm the sequel two decades later. (A third one is slated.)
Q: “Independence Day” set the standard for visual effects in movies. Twenty years later, did that achievement present more challenges because the expectation is high?
Emmerich: in the end, it all comes down to story. It’s interesting because it was stressful and hard when we used different means and models and stuff and it’s now really hard. It’s interesting sometimes to look back and say, “Oh, we only had 450 shots.” That’s like nothing today where we have 1,750 shots. That explains to you how things have changed and how the pressure of producing this in this amount of time has become a real challenge.
Q: Because your films reach a global audience, you have to be cognizant of not offending certain countries and cultures. For example, you were going to have some of the landmarks fall on Paris in “Resurgence,” but you changed it to London.
Emmerich: After the Paris (terrorist) attacks, we felt it would be in bad taste to have the (destruction occur there in the film.)
Q: In terms of the science of the vessels, do you base the architectural designs that are used or projected by NASA and other countries with space programs?
Emmerich: We have designers involved who are very aware of the latest in science. The main thing we think about is how to make (the ships) look functional—and that changes. Like, when you see old “Flash Gordon” movies, those were a totally different design that would be silly today but for its time, it’s probably exactly what people thought felt real. Today, the technology people have to say, “ Oh yeah, that could function.” There are alien spaceships that could work.
Q: When you’re in the process of making the film, do you think about what extras you’ll have on the DVD and Blu-ray?
Emmerich: We, as film fans, have amazing examples. Certainly some things don’t work as scenes. Editing is the last time you can rewrite your movie.
Q: According to the Fermi paradox, it is the nature of intelligent life to destroy itself and destroy other intelligent species as they appear. Which do you think is more likely for humanity?
Emmerich: If you want to call humans an intelligent species, yes, we are destroying ourselves as we speak. I don’t know how if it would be that way with other life forms in the universe, but it could very well be that there are no other life forms and the only intelligent life form is us, and we are in the process of destroying ourselves.
Q: The next “Independence Day” is slated to come out in 2018, right?
Q: But there is a third one in mind, right? Anything you can say about it?
Emmerich: We will go out in space and it’s going to be exciting. It’s the first time humans today can go through a wormhole.