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.)
Luckily, we know that Emmerich and co-writer/producer Dean Devlin’s original script was rewritten by Carter Blanchard, and that it includes all-around genius David Levinson, a role Jeff Goldblum will return for. The plot is being kept pretty hush-hush, but I’m guessing it makes at least 50 references to September 11. As with everything else at this point, a release date shift means that this project is indeed moving forward, so there’s that.
Paramount is also shifting some things around. The comedy sequel Hot Tub Time Machine 2, which was originally supposed to come out on December 25, has been pushed to February 20, 2015. Christmas is absolutely stuffed with solid releases this year—including Tim Burton’s Big Eyes, Rob Marshall’s Into the Woods, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s The Interview, Ava DuVernay’s Selma, and Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper. All Hot Tub Time Machine 2 has to worry about for its new date is Gavin O’Connor’s Jane Got a Gun and Niki Caro’s McFarland USA. Let the box office reward reaping commence.
Also getting strategically pushed ahead is Paramount’s comedy horror flick Scouts vs. Zombies, which will no longer face off against 50 Shades of Grey on March 13, 2015. Christopher B. Landon’s film is now headed for Halloween, and is currently the only film now sitting in the October 30, 2015 slot. Treat or treat?
It might seem like a silly question, but which of these three films are you guys most excited about?