The long-awaited trailer for the Will Smith-less Independence Day sequel Independence Day: Resurgence has just landed with all the explosive, bone-crunching delicacy director Roland Emmerich brings to blowing up capital cities. Far less obtuse than the Star Wars teasers, the about-to-be-viral 141-second clip gives away the shape of the science-fiction blockbuster. Here’s the deal: After the “War of 1996,” which is how characters refer to the events of the first film, the world banded together to harness alien technologies in preparation for a second attack. The agency formed for this purpose, the Earth Space Defense Program, is run by Jeff Goldblum’s David Levinson, who has become a mashup of Nick Fury and Richard Feynman.
But are we really ready to fight aliens again? It’s not actually a rhetorical question.
Given that the movie is obligated to hit the 90-minute mark, the answer to that question is definitely, “No, but we win anyway because courage is a human quality.” And, yes, that means — just from a plot structure standpoint — Levinson is probably going to have to redeem himself at some point by doing something courageous. This being a Jeff Goldblum and Hirsch buddy picture (not really, there’s a Hemsworth in it), heroism will likely come in the form of brainstorms and nervous asides. The Chinese, personified by actress Angelbaby playing a pilot, will also presumably play an important role in Earth’s defense because international box office is a thing.
What’s most impressive and remarkable about the trailer and warof1996.com, the website accompanying it, is how built out the post-Independence Day world has become. There is a relatively complicated implied history and there are photoshopped images of Bill Pullman chilling with Tony Blair and Boris Yeltsin. There is what appears to be a Moon base. There is even an epic Pullman beard, one worth of a presidential library all its own. The good thing about this, we can know see how publicity is going to go. Expect to see a lot of ESDP propaganda in the coming months.