Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum and Jessie Usher Join ‘Independence Day’ Sequel

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Independence Day 2 casting
Photo: 20th Century Fox

We don’t quite know what Independence Day 2 will be about, but we do know Roland Emmerich is returning to direct and the film is set to hit theaters on June 24, 2016, almost exactly 20 years after the original made Will Smith a star and a little over one year after Focus told us that star status is fading. However, as for the film’s plot, we are just now getting our first taste as we’ll begin with THR‘s report that Jessie Usher (“Survivor’s Remorse”, When the Game Stands Tall) has been cast as a central character in the new film as the son of Smith’s character from the original. There were reports there were two scripts for the film floating around, one if Smith decided to return as Captain Steven Hiller and another if he didn’t. I can only now assume the only difference was whether or not it would be Smith’s Steven Hiller or his son taking on whatever specific alien-fighting duties are required.

On top of that news, Emmerich just confirmed via Twitter the return of Jeff Goldblum will reprise his role of David Levinson from the first film and announced Liam Hemsworth will also star, though his role is unknown at this time.

No official word yet on whether or not Bill Pulman will be back though today’s announcement of Goldblum’s involvement is no real surprise as Emmerich basically confirmed both Goldblum and Pullman would both return back in 2013. Around that same time Pullman also said he was expecting to return while deciding on whether or not to star in the now-cancelled “1600 Penn”, “[We’re starting within] a year, yeah, something like that I guess… I worried about taking this part because it’s heating up. I thought, ‘I don’t know if I should do the comedy’ and I talked to Dean [Devlin] and Roland [Emmerich] and they said, ‘No, do it. We’ll work around it. If it goes, we’ll work around it.'”

Back when the movie was set up as a two-part duology there was a plot revealed, which went like this:

The films take place 20 years after the original, when a distress call sent by the first wave of aliens finally brings reinforcements to Earth. “The humans knew that one day the aliens would come back,” explains the director, who completed two scripts with Independence Day co-writer Dean Devlin and has given them to White House Down writer-producer James Vanderbilt for a rewrite. “And they know that the only way you can really travel in space is through wormholes. So for the aliens, it could take two or three weeks, but for us that’s 20 or 25 years.”

[S]torylines will focus on a new generation of human heroes, including the stepson of Will Smith’s Independence Day character (played in that film by Ross Bagley). “It’s still some of the same characters, but also new younger characters; it’s a little bit like the sons take over,” says Emmerich, who promises that the first sequel will have a cliffhanger ending to keep audiences coming back for more. “The first one ends on a little success, but only enough to give the humans hope. And then in the second one they free themselves again [from the aliens].”

So there you have it, Usher will most likely be playing the stepson of Smith’s character with the aliens coming back for more. No word on whether or not the plans for two films are still in place or if they’ve wrapped it all up into one, but we’ll know in a little over a year from now.