A while back, word got out that director Roland Emmerich was trying to bring the band back together by developing a sequel to his 1996 alien invasion film ‘Independence Day’ starring Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, and Bill Pullman. As time went on, the sequel evolved into sequels and there were rumblings that Will Smith would not be able to return due to budget constrictions, so the script might have been reworked to reflect the absence of Smith’s Captain Steve Hiller. Now, the picture is a bit clearer as Emmerich has recently divulged some new details about his upcoming films, ‘ID Forever Part 1’ and ‘ID Forever Part II’.

According to an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the director revealed that the scripts are completed and currently undergoing rewrites from James Vanderbilt of ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ and ‘White House Down’. He also says that the new films will take place roughly 20 years after the original and will pick up with the alien armada responding to the distress call from their comrades all those years ago.

“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…. It’s a changed world. It’s like parallel history. [Humans] have harnessed all this alien technology. We don’t know how to duplicate it because it’s organically-grown technology, but we know how to take an antigravity device and put it in a human airplane.”

In terms of who’s returning, Bill Pullman has already confirmed that he’ll be reprising his role as President Thomas J. Whitmore, but there has been no word on his co-stars. Regardless of who’s returning, the films will focus on a new generation of heroes, including Captain Hiller’s stepson, Dylan, who was played by Ross Bagley from the 1994 remake of ‘The Little Rascals’.

“It’s still some of the same characters, but also new younger characters; it’s a little bit like the sons take over. The first one ends on a little success, but only enough to give the humans hope. And then in the second one they free themselves again [from the aliens]. “

Though news of these films hasn’t exactly been flooding the news, it seems as if progress is much further along that originally anticipated, which is good news for fans of the first film.

After hearing the latest updates for ‘ID Forever Part 1’ and ‘ID Forever Part II’, what are your thoughts on the sequels? Do these films sound appealing to you? And do you think that they’ll be able to work something out to bring back Will Smith, even in a small cameo role? Sound off in the comments.