Everybody needs to have a panel these days, and the people behind the new Independence Day sequel aren’t any different. Normally this would be a bad thing, but when you decide to make a sequel to what was once one of the highest grossing movies ever made then we’ll let it slide. Here’s what we found out from the panel.

  • It’s called Independence Day: Resurgence, which, if my dictionary serves me correctly, means that after a period of inactivity the aliens show up again and are probably more pissed off than ever.
  • Director and co-wroter Roland Emmerich didn’t want to do a sequel, but came around to the idea of a new installment when he saw the amount of special effects that could be used while he was shooting his other disaster movie, 2012.
  • The people that are back: Roland Emmerich, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Vivica A. Fox, Brent Spinner (even though his character supposedly died in the first movie), and Judd Hirsch.
  • The people who are new: Sela Ward plays the new President; Maika Monroe plays former President Whitmore’s daughter Patricia (played by Mae Whitman in the original) who is now some sort of secret service agent; Jessie Usher plays Dylan Hiller, the son of Will Smith’s character from the first movie who has to live up to the reputation of his father; Angelababy (a Chinese pop star) plays a fighter pilot; and Liam Hemsworth plays Jake Morrison, a pilot whose parents were killed in the events of the first movie. Charlotte Gainsbourg, who wasn’t at the panel, is listed on IMDB as playing a character named Dr. Catherine Marceaux.
  • The amount of time that has passed since the first movie is in real time. The story takes place in a post-World-War era, with the entire world united against a second alien invasion, and the events of the first movie are now referred to as the “War of ‘96.”
  • David Levinson is now the Director of Earth Space Defense, a multinational military group whose job is to make sure another alien invasion doesn’t happen again, though we’re fairly sure it does.
  • The Air Force of Earth has hybrid alien/human fighter jets and spacecraft that appropriate alien technology from the first movie to use against them. Humans harvest and scrap alien tech to make it their own.
  • Jasmine is no longer a stripper, and instead is working as a hospital administrator while raising Dylan on her own.
  • Judd Hirsch’s character is somehow separated from his son, Goldblum’s David, and must get to him over the course of the movie
  • Will Smith isn’t in the movie, but his character’s disappearance will somehow play into the movie’s plot. Emmerich says his absence will still be “respectful” to the character because he still matters to the universe of the movie.
  • According to Emmerich, the scope of the sequel is much bigger than the first movie.

And there you have it. Independence Day: Resurgence will be released almost 20 years to the day after the original on June 26, 2016.

Photos via YouTube.com