Jessie Usher, who headlines the Starz original series “Survivor’s Remorse,” has taken a leading role in director Roland Emmerich’s Independence Day 2. Emmerich himself broke the news on his official Facebook page with The Hollywood Reporter chiming in to reveal that Usher will be playing Dylan Hiller, the son of Will Smith’s Captain Steven Hiller from the original ID4. Ross Bagley played the part in the 1996 original.
“My producing partner Harald Kloser noticed Jessie in between sets of pushups at the gym and gave him an audition,” Emmerich says of the chance encounter that brought Usher to his attention. “As they say, the rest is history!”
Set to hit theaters June 24, 2016 (almost exactly 20 years after the original), Independence Day 2 is looking to begin production in May with a script most recently rewritten by Carter Blanchard (best known for the short-lived 2009 series “G vs E”). Previous drafts were done by Emmerich and Dean Devlin, and then by James Vanderbilt. Although Will Smith will not be returning, both Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman are expected to reprise their roles as David Levinson and President Thomas J. Whitmore, respectively.
The original Independence Day opened on July 3, 1996 and earned an impressive $817.4 million worldwide. Emmerich is also set to produce the sequel alongside Devlin and Harald Kloser.
UPDATE: Emmerich has confirmed via Twitter that Jeff Goldlbum is now confirmed as is Liam Hemsworth, who was rumored for a leading role last month. Golblum will reprise his role as David Levinson while it is believed that Hemsworth will be playing the son-in-law of Bill Pullman’s President Whitmore.