'Independence Day' Sequel: 1st Trailer Hints at Big, Bad Alien Things

A giant alien spaceship makes landfall on Earth in a scene from the first trailer of "Independence Day: Resurgence" coming in 2016.
A giant alien spaceship makes landfall on Earth in a scene from the first trailer of "Independence Day: Resurgence" coming in 2016. (Image credit: 20th Century Fox)

Twenty years after saving Earth from an alien invasion, it looks like Independence Day's David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) is going to have to help us again.

A menacing alien ship looms in scenes from the first trailer of "Independence Day: Resurgence," as narration (taken from the first film) promises to make the American holiday a liberation day recognized worldwide.

"That is definitely bigger than the last one," says Levinson while he is standing in a spacesuit, gazing at the spaceship.

Levinson's exploits in the first "Independence Day" are outlined on the site Warof1996.com, a 20th Century Fox project that shows the events of the first film.

The site also, according to media reports, explains why Steven Hiller (Will Smith) isn't in the rebooted franchise. In the real world, Smith didn't sign on to the film. In the "Independence Day" universe, Hiller died in a 2007 crash while piloting an alien hybrid fighter.

Most remember the original "Independence Day" for Hiller's wise-cracking observations, such as yelling "Welcome to Earth" while punching an alien's lights out. The new trailer, however, strikes a more somber tone, with a focus on the battle to save our home planet.

"We always knew they'd come back," the trailer states. "But nothing could prepare us for when they arrive."

"Independence Day: Resurgence" sends David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) to the moon in this scene from the action science fiction film's first trailer. (Image credit: 20th Century Fox)

The trailer shows U.N. trucks driving across an empty plain, dozens of human war planes heading out for war and the shadow of an alien spaceship moving across the moon. And it looks like there's a human base on the moon, with Goldblum's Levinson donning a spacesuit to take a visit.

While the aliens in "Independence Day: Resurgence" have yet to be revealed, the trailer promises no lack of battles with their fighters when the film hits theaters next summer.

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Elizabeth Howell
Staff Writer, Spaceflight

Elizabeth Howell (she/her), Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022 covering diversity, education and gaming as well. She was contributing writer for Space.com for 10 years before joining full-time. Elizabeth's reporting includes multiple exclusives with the White House and Office of the Vice-President of the United States, an exclusive conversation with aspiring space tourist (and NSYNC bassist) Lance Bass, speaking several times with the International Space Station, witnessing five human spaceflight launches on two continents, flying parabolic, working inside a spacesuit, and participating in a simulated Mars mission. Her latest book, "Why Am I Taller?", is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University and a Bachelor of History from Canada's Athabasca University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science at several institutions since 2015; her experience includes developing and teaching an astronomy course at Canada's Algonquin College (with Indigenous content as well) to more than 1,000 students since 2020. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday. Mastodon: https://qoto.org/@howellspace