Director Roland Emmerich regrets making ‘Independence Day: Resurgence’
Roland Emmerich made his name making disaster movies but the director admits there was nothing more disastrous in his career than making Independence Day: Resurgence.
The German filmmaker, who returns to cinema with WWII epic Midway, says that he should never have made the sequel to his hit sci-fi blockbuster starring Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum.
The 2016 sequel saw the return of Goldblum and Bill Pullman, but not Smith, whose character, Steven Hiller, was revealed to have died. The film starred Jessie Usher as Steven’s stepson, Dylan, and Liam Hemsworth as the main alien-fighting heroes. It was both a critical and commercial flop, earning just $389.7 million at the box office, and it left Emmerich with serious regrets.
“I just wanted to make a movie exactly like the first,” Emmerich explained to Yahoo Movies UK, “but then in the middle of production Will opted out because he wanted to do Suicide Squad.
“I should have stopped making the movie because we had a much better script, then I had to really fast, cobble another script together,” he added.
“I should have just said no because all of a sudden I was making something I criticized myself: a sequel.”
The disappointment of making Independence Day: Resurgence is one of the reasons why Emmerich took such a long time to return to movie-making so he could return with a film he cared about.
That movie was Midway, which tells the true World War II story about the Naval conflict between American and Japanese forces in the Pacific following the devastating events of Pearl Harbor.
Keep reading for the full interview with Roland Emmerich, in which he discusses his latest blockbuster, the struggle of making movies and plans for a low-budget movie that will serve as a love letter to cinema…
Yahoo Movies UK: You’re known for making big action blockbusters. Was there a different approach with Midway?
Roland Emmerich: “This time around I just followed what history told us. In my other movies, I can just invent stuff but in this one, I couldn’t do that so I had to stay really accurate.”
A lot of the time these big American World War II epics have a clear villain and hero, but this film shows a lot of respect for the Japanese. Why did you want to show the conflict in this way?
“It was really important to me to not only give the people the battle but also to do six months of history in order to tell the big combat story of the Americans. Secondly, I didn’t want it to have triumphant things, like a cheering scene in a movie which has so many people die. And thirdly, I also wanted to respect both sides. That’s probably because I’m German.