“Today we celebrate our Independence Day!” said Bill Pullman as President Thomas J. Whitmore in the celebrated sci-fi action movie Independence Day

The Independence Day movie came out right before the Fourth of July celebrations in 1996, 25 years ago. To this day it remains one of the most iconic and epic tales of an alien invasion.

Of course, the movie propelled actor Will Smith into global superstardom, put forth one of the most memorable speeches in cinema history, and left fans with a massive Super Bowl announcement that is instantly recallable even after two and a half decades.

What Is The 'Independence Day' Movie 1996 About?

At face value, the Independence Day movie is just another movie where a horde of seemingly unstoppable aliens come to Earth, wreaking havoc on a global scale, only to be annihilated by the good guys by the end of the third act. 

For the most part, Independence Day delivers all the aforementioned acts whilst putting up an epic spectacle for the audience to awe over. 

However, there are a few more themes at play during its two-and-a-half-hour runtime that might not readily be visible to the audiences. The movie is a staple of unity, inclusivity, and diversity. 

The move beautifully portrayed how, when push came to shove, humanity still had it in them to stand together as one people, beyond race, creed, or social status.

One instance that especially stood out in this regard was the scene where an exotic dancer Jasmine, played by Vivica A. Fox, was so accommodating to the First Lady of the United States, played by Mary McDonnell, when she found her, despite the fact she “voted for the other guy.”

Not to mention that every scene in the movie where the American people were featured saw a diverse crowd of multicultural origins.

Beyond the unity in diversity, the movie also heavily featured the theme of failure. The humans were the good guys in the movie, yet they failed time and time again.

They failed to protect their cities, failed to communicate with the aliens, get pinned down by extraterrestrials on multiple counts, but they also failed to give up. 

Against impossible odds and formidable foes, the good guys refuse to accept failure.

'Independence Day' Movie Cast

Looking back, the star cast of the Independence Day movie seems ideal. Will Smith at the helm with Bill Pullman and Jeff Goldblum at his side. 

But in reality, apart from Goldblum, who had just come off of Jurassic Park three years prior, the other two actors' careers were launched into the stratosphere after Independence Day, especially Smith.

Surprisingly, Smith wasn't Fox's first choice. On the contrary, they were against casting him for the role.

The Hollywood Reporter came forth with a conversation with director Ronald Emmerich and writer-producer Dean Devlin, where the former recalled the studio not liking Smith for the part because he was an unproven actor who wouldn't work in international markets.

To which the latter added, 

They said, 'You cast a Black guy in this part, you’re going to kill foreign [box office].' Our argument was, 'Well, the movie is about space aliens. It’s going to do fine foreign.'

After the adamant director stood his ground, the studio wasn't left with much of a choice.

Apart from those three, the Independence Day movie also featured Vivica A. Fox, Mary McDonnell, Judd Hirsch, James Rebhorn, Robert Loggia, and Randy Quaid, among others.


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'Independence Day: Resurgence'

Two decades after the original Independence Day movie, the second installment to the destructive epic came to theatres the world over. 

"We had twenty years to prepare. So did they," read the poster for Independence Day: Resurgence.

While President Whitmore managed to stay somewhat in power after those twenty years of preparation, the viewers did not see the heroic Captain Hiller take up arms.

Instead, the second installment in the series traded Smith for Liam Hemsworth as Jake Morrison for the main lead. 

According to Fox, Captain Hiller passed away while testing the ESD's new alien hybrid fighter in the fictional timeline.

As per reports from Time, Smith was supposed to be a part of the central father-son storyline that would have built up over the course of the story.

However, Emmerich got two younger writers onboard who decided that the plot be changed to make way for a younger generation to take over. 

Once that happened, Smith's role in the movie was unnecessary. That being said, the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air had a different story to tell. 

Smith revealed to BBC Radio 1Xtra that he could not be in the movie because of scheduling conflicts. He explained

I had a couple of films lined up, I had 'Concussion' and 'Suicide Squad,' and so it was a decision, timing-wise, between 'Independence Day' and 'Suicide Squad.'


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Best Quotes from 'Independence Day'

The Independence Day movie has aged beautifully over time and has spawned endlessly quotable lines. Here is a shortlist of our best picks:

We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight! We're going to live on! We're going to survive! Today we celebrate our Independence Day!

Let's kick the tires and light the fires, big daddy!

I picked a hell of a day to quit drinkin'.

It's a fine line between standing behind a principle and hiding behind one. You can tolerate a little compromise, if you're actually managing to get something accomplished.

Will There Be Another 'Independence Day' Movie?

Sadly, Independence Day: Resurgence was not even close to the original in terms of box office performance.

The first movie had bagged a massive 817 million dollars, whereas the second one settled for a mere 389 million worldwide.

To make things worse, the latter had more than double the investment.

Still, fans were hopeful that Disney would step in and add to the movie, much like how they did with Planet of the Apes and Home Alone.

But, of course, it wasn't just fans that were eager to have that question answered. 

Screen Rant asked Emmerich in 2019 if he would be interested in working on Independence Day 3 alongside Disney. His reply read

Yeah, absolutely. I have actually a great idea for a sequel.

Although, whether or not Disney believes the Independence Day franchise is worthy of yet another film remains to be seen.

Other sources like Den of Geek have also entertained the possibility for two more sequels, Independence Day 3 and Independence Day 4.