Dean Devlin Returned His Paycheck After Writing An Unsatisfactory Independence Day Sequel

By David Wharton | Published

As unlikely as it may seem, there’s an increasingly good chance that we’ll see an Independence Day sequel at some point, despite the fact that it’s been 16 years since the original hit theaters. Dean Devlin was talking about the possibility earlier this month, telling The Hollywood Reporter that he was working on the project with Roland Emmerich for the first time in 11 years. A new interview, however, reveals that we almost got an Independence Day sequel years ago‚Ķbut Devlin decided it wasn’t up to snuff.

Devlin, who co-wrote the original film with Emmerich, revealed the fate of the canceled script in an interview with Collider:

Many years ago, I was actually hired to write the sequel to Independence Day. And I wrote a sequel. And they paid me a boatload of money to go write this thing. And after I wrote it, I read it and I gave them back the money and I said, ‘Look, this is an okay movie I just wrote. But it’s not worthy of the sequel to Independence Day.’ And I literally gave back the money. And afterwards I said, ‘You know what? I’m not even going to try anymore.’ And it was only about a year-and-a-half ago that Roland called me up and said, ‘We should try again.’

Leaving aside the easy “Not even good enough for Independence Day” jokes, it’s nice to see that Devlin has some standards. That’s not something you’d assume from a resume that includes the 1998 Godzilla remake. All right, all right, that was cruel of me. I genuinely do tip my hat to the guy for not just turning in a subpar screenplay, taking the paycheck, and adding another foot and a half of depth to his Scrooge McDuck-style money vault.

If there is indeed going to be an Independence Day sequel, it shouldn’t happen unless there’s a good story to tell. I’d say it’s extremely unlikely that it’s going to happen, but then again Men in Black 3 just made $605 million worldwide, so what do I know? I’m actually kind of surprised they’re still thinking of a sequel instead of just rebooting the damn thing, since that’s all the rage these days.

All I want to know is, if I go to Independence Day 2 and it sucks, will Dean Devlin give me my money back?