At this point in our lives, we all secretly assume that Roland Emmerich’s long-gestating Independence Day 2 is really just an explosive oasis forever hovering on the horizon, right? 20th Century Fox has once again changed the sequel’s distant future release date, but instead of pushing it forward, they’re bringing it back towards us. By a week, to be exact, as cinemagoers can now look forward to alien warfare taking place on June 24, 2016. I suppose someone somewhere celebrates their own day of independence at the end of June.
Independence Day 2 was set for release on July 1, 2016, and it isn’t quite clear why the date was changed. The switch puts it head to head with Universal’s upcoming The Mummy, which is being rebooted into their new connected monster universe (which includes last weekend’s Dracula Untold). But Emmerich’s film has gotten away from direct competition with Warner Bros.’ Tarzan, Sony’s Angry Birds, and Buena Vista’s The BFG, that Roald Dahl novel adaptation Steven Spielberg is set to direct next year. That’s stiff competition for any movie, much less a cobwebby sequel without Will Smith in the lead. (Not that Smith is an instant box office monster these days, but still.)