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Independence Day 2 going forward without the star of the original

Christina Marfice

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Christina is a reporter based in Boise, Idaho. She's a veteran vegetarian, a political junkie and a huge grammar snob. On the weekends, she can usually be found binging on Netflix, playing the piano or petting her cats, Daisy and Dandelion.

Can Independence Day 2 stack up without Will Smith?

Fans of the 1996 Earth-invasion blockbuster Independence Day, rejoice!

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Multiple news outlets are reporting that Fox has officially given the green light to an Independence Day sequel, set to begin production in May and be released sometime in 2016.

That means Independence Day 2 will hit theaters almost 20 years after the original, so we have to wonder how it will stack up to the classic Will Smith film that came first. It was previously announced that Will Smith wouldn't be returning for this movie, which is a pretty huge bummer.

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Still, there's nothing like aliens to kick off the summer blockbuster season, which this film will likely do — it's speculated that it will be released around June.

Roland Emmerich, who directed the first film as well as numerous other blockbuster action flicks like Godzilla, The Day After Tomorrow and White House Down, will return to direct as soon as Fox seals that deal. Casting won't start until after Emmerich is officially locked in, ComingSoon.net reports.

The outlet also reports that although there has been speculation of a trilogy or more, Fox has only given the go-ahead to the single film (so far). It was previously reported that two sequels would be filmed back-to-back, but now, it looks like the fate of a third movie depends on the success of the second — though if it can do half as well as the original, which grossed more than $800 million worldwide, it's probably a done deal.

The movie has a few other action movie big names on board, including writer Dean Devlin, who helped pen the original, and Carter Blanchard, best known for his 2009 series, Good vs Evil.

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Will you check out Independence Day 2? Tell us in the comments.

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