Even though we’re still a year away from the Independence Day sequel, the cast and crew livestreamed a question and answer session on the set. Mostly, they told us what little they could about their characters and Jeff Goldblum talked very quickly.

Here’s the synopsis posted along withe the livestream:

We always knew they were coming back. After INDEPENDENCE DAY redefined the event movie genre, the next epic chapter delivers global spectacle on an unimaginable scale. Using recovered alien technology, the nations of Earth have collaborated on an immense defense program to protect the planet. But nothing can prepare us for the aliens’ advanced and unprecedented force. Only the ingenuity of a few brave men and women can bring our world back from the brink of extinction.

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Director Roland Emmerich said that the events of the fictional 1996 has created a “post-world-war” generation who are united against a common threat.

Sela Ward, who will play the current president, President Lanford elaborated on how things have changed:

[She’s] Entirely different [from Bill Pullman’s President Whitmore]. It’s a totally different political landscape. She’s tougher, more decisive, not afraid to use force, she’s more aggressive. She’s a very different animal because it’s a very different time. We’ve been preparing for twenty years for the inevitability of an invasion. We don’t know by whom or when. So there’s a very different climate in terms of the tenor of the movie. Especially for the president.

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We do know that Patricia Whitmore (played in Resurgence by Maika Monrow, played in the first film by Mae Whitman) is working for the new president in some capacity. They refused to give away exactly what job the one-time first daughter has — being told by Emmerich “not to give it away” — but we did find out that she, like her father, will be a fighter pilot.

Other bits and bobs we learned was that Jasmine (Vivica A. Fox) is no longer a stripper and is working as a hospital administrator and that her son Dylan (played by Jessie Usher in Resurgence, replacing Ross Bagley) has grown up being the “son of the savior” — Will Smith, one of the few non-returning cast members.

Playing a wholly new character is Liam Hemsworth, whose character, Jake Morrison, lost his parents in the attack in 1996. Hemsworth gave some details which definitely made it sound like he’s playing the rebellious pilot who accidentally finds himself in the middle of everything:

He eventually joined the military and ended up in the best of the best of the best of the fighter pilots. And he made a bad mistake, a bad decision, and put someone’s life at risk, and got the great job of driving this Moon Tug, which is basically a forklift on the Moon. Where he gets to move around different pieces on the Moon. Which is not really an exciting job for a fighter pilot like himself. He’s a pretty energetic guy, he likes to do exciting things. That’s not exciting.

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The “Moon Tug” is one of the spaceships Earth has made by cannibalizing the crashed remains of the alien invasion from 1996. Here are a few official photos of the Moon Tug:

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In what seems like a choice based on past glory and not much actual shown skill, David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) is in charge of Earth Space Defense, the multinational defense group in charge of planetary defense. Presumably, that includes the Moon Base set that the announcements all took place in. Along with the Moon Tug, the set also featured the human-alien fighter, which pretty much looks like a jet fighter plane’s body with the wings of the alien fighters from Independence Day bolted onto it:

The only thing I cared about was finding out how Brent Spiner’s character survived getting attacked by one of the aliens, but it looks like that’s a mystery that I’ll need to see the movie to find out about. We did find out that he’s got an even more hair this time which seems pretty much impossible.

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See the whole thing yourself here.


Contact the author at katharine@io9.com.

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