These days, almost every summer blockbuster involves city blocks being rattled by toppling CGI buildings. But back in 1996, one could talk about a summer movie where an entire city gets destroyed, and the movie could be identified without the name ever being said. Roland Emmerich’s effects-filled Independence Day really set the bar for how big and bold (and inherently dumb) disaster movies could be, and we’re anxiously waiting to see if that film’s long-awaited sequel could possibly match up with the rest of the citywide mayhem we’ve been bombarded with over the years. And today, we celebrate Independence Day 2 finding a new screenwriter in Carter Blanchard.
Don’t feel bad if you aren’t familiar with that name. Blanchard is currently making a big name for himself after years away from “the business.” 20th Century Fox, along with Emmerich and producers Dean Devlin and Harald Kloser, chose Blanchard to come in and put his rewriting skills to use, revising the original script from The Amazing Spider-Man 2 writer James Vanderbilt. Because nobody really knows anything about the plot for Independence Day 2, other than the presence of Jeff Goldblum’s David Levinson, we can only imagine that Blanchard will excise all potential appearances of Captain Steven Hiller, since Will Smith is clearly not going to be involved with the sequel. (Assuming he doesn’t have a major blockbuster in the meantime, forcing Emmerich’s to drop a giant fortune to get the actor back.)
As far as we know, Emmerich is still planning on filming the two parts of Independence Day 2 back-to-back, where that whole ID4 Forever Part I title might come into place. It’s unclear if the script is just one big monster that will be split into two films, or if Blanchard is only working on the first part. That seems counter-productive though. Kind of like making Randy Quaid a hero.
Blanchard’s biggest past success in screenwriting came from a couple of episodes of the USA series Good vs. Evil and the 1989 short film Skippy Binderman. But the future looks bright, as he co-wrote the screenplay for the thriller Diver, which is one of the next films coming from Oculus director Mike Flanagan. He’s also the latest in line to tackle the long-gestating feature adaptation of the Spy Hunter video game series for Warner Bros. He’s also working with Fox on the children’s adventure Kindergarten Heroes, an adaptation of Mark Millar’s comic of the same name.
Those curious should give the odd and 1980s-soaked Skippy Binderman short a peek below.
As of now, Independence Day 2 is scheduled to blow theaters to smithereens on July 1, 2016.