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10 Things You Didn’t Know About… Independence Day
by Tom
Tom
by Tom hmv London, Bio hmv.com Editor. Peanut butter, punk rock and pillows.

10 Things You Didn’t Know About… Independence Day

When it was released 20 years ago, Roland Emmerich’s sci-fi epic Independence Day was a smash hit. It grossed almost $820 million at the box office, helped turn Will Smith into a global superstar and redefined what you could do with visual effects.

The movie’s concept is a simple one, an alien invasion hits earth and they want to enslave the planet’s citizens and wreak total destruction. To fight back President Thomas J. Whitmore turns to ace pilot Steven Hillier and scientist David Levinson to find a way to take them down...

It gets re-released on DVD and Blu-Ray today (May 30th) with both the theatrical and extended cuts available in a new package (you can order it on the right-hand side of the page), and, with a sequel on the way next month (there’s more on that here), we thought we’d celebrate by presenting 10 things you didn’t know about Independence Day…

 

It didn’t take long to come together…

Movies the size of Independence Day normally take years to write and develop, but in this case it was a very fast turnaround. It took Emmerich and writing partner Dean Devlin one month to write the screenplay, then just three days for it to get greenlit. It was in pre-production the very next day…

 

It didn’t take long to shoot either…

Eyes Wide Shut took 15 months to shoot, Apocalypse, Now took 16, but Independence Day was wrapped in a mere 72 days. Fast work indeed!

 

Some alien references cost the movie some serious support…

Devlin himself revealed after the film hit cinemas that the US military had agreed to support the film by allowing the crew to film at military bases and providing consultation. However, after learning of the Area 51 references in the script, they withdrew their support and no compromise could be reached...

 

It was banned in Lebanon…

A scene where Israeli and Iraqi soldiers joined forces saw the film banned in Lebanon, it was eventually re-cut.

 

Kevin Spacey was supposed to be the President…

The role was written for him, but his star power at the time didn’t convince the studio to give him the role, so it was given to Bill Pullman. Spacey would eventually play the President in little-known drama House Of Cards...

 

It had a brilliant code name…

As with many blockbusters the movie went out for advance screenings under a code name, in this case it was Dutch 2...

 

Matthew Perry originally had a key role…

The Friends star originally won the role of Jimmy Wilder, the best friend of Steven Hillier and fellow pilot, he had to drop out, leaving Harry Connick Jnr to step in...

 

A miniature White House was built…

And then blown up for the movie’s centrepiece! It was 1/12th size of the actual house.

 

There are a lot of mock news broadcasts in this movie...

72 to be precise. That’s a lot of fake news footage.

 

It sparked a Super Bowl trend…

When producers 20th Century Fox decided to spend $1.3 million to show the trailer during the half-time break in the 1996 Super Bowl, they were taking a leap into the unknown. Normally a time reserved for beer commercials, movies weren’t generally in the mix for those spots, but the decision proved to be a great success and has sparked a trend that continues to this day.

 

Independence Day is re-released on DVD and Blu-Ray today (May 30th) with both the theatrical and extended cuts and is available to purchase here in hmv’s online store.

The sequel Independence Day: Resurgence will be released into cinemas on June 24th and will be available on DVD later this year.

Independence Day: Theatrical and Extended Cut
Independence Day: Theatrical and Extended Cut Roland Emmerich

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