‘Independence Day’: Emmerich, Goldblum, Devlin talk sequel

May 12, 2013 | 8:35 p.m.

"Independence Day" producer Dean Devlin, left, and director Roland Emmerich in 2000. (Iris Schneider / Los Angeles Times)

Will Smith, left, and Jeff Goldblum in a scene from "Independence Day." (20th Century Fox)

Earth’s victory over alien invaders in “Independence Day” may have been but the first battle in a war.

The film’s co-writers — director Roland Emmerich and producer Dean Devlin – told the Hero Complex Film Festival audience at a matinee screening of the 1996 blockbuster Sunday that they have ideas for a sequel (and maybe more) but, as Devlin put it, “things have to align … the planets have to get together.” And planets getting together is a thrilling prospect for fans of these spectacle specialists.

Emmerich said he and Devlin have discussed why the aliens came in the first place, what the bigger story is. The director called the aliens a “swarm intelligence, and we are individual intelligence – and even if we kill each other … we have something very special, we have this indomitable human spirit.”

So, if there is a sequel, would Jeff Goldblum, who surprised the audience by sitting in on the conversation, have a place in it?

“I think we’ll invite him back,” Emmerich said.

Goldblum had the audience laughing with his halting, gently ironic responses, including noting of his attitude toward science-fiction movies, “the good ones are good” and “I’ve loved the ones I’ve been involved with,” and citing alongside “ID4” and the “The Fly” the 1988 musical comedy “Earth Girls Are Easy.”

The actor was also a gentleman, grabbing an extra chair for a bonus panelist, visual effects supervisor Volker Engel, who won an Oscar with his team for “Independence Day.” Engel recalled of his time on the production, “I spent probably three-quarters of the time destroying things – which was awesome.”

One of the film’s most famous destructive sequences is an alien ship’s obliteration of the White House, which Engel recalled orchestrating with a large-scale miniature in front of the press – “no pressure,” he kidded.

Emmerich is putting that iconic residence in the crossfire again with the Channing Tatum-starring “White House Down,” due out June 28.

After talking about how he and his team had hustled to get “Independence Day” into theaters a month before Tim Burton’s “Mars Attacks!” – “I knew that we had to come out first, before the satire comes out – I mean the other way around would have been weird” — Emmerich noted that a similar thing had recently happened to him: “Olympus Has Fallen,” starring Gerard Butler as a government agent trapped in the White House after a terrorist attack, came out in March – though apparently Goldblum hadn’t noticed.

“I missed that,” he said to chuckles. “I’m looking forward to ‘White House Down.’”

Hosted by Hero Complex editor Gina McIntyre at the Chinese 6 Theatres in Hollywood, the matinee event started the final day of the Hero Complex Film Festival, now in its fourth year. The festival began Friday night with a John Carpenter double feature and discussion. “The Mist” followed on Saturday afternoon with Frank Darabont and surprise guest Thomas Jane. Saturday night’s program brought a Guillermo del Toro double feature of “The Devil’s Backbone” and the Oscar-winning “Pan’s Labyrinth,” exclusive new footage of his “Pacific Rim” and an on-stage conversation with the busy director. The festival closes tonight with a 20th anniversary tribute to “The X-Files” with creator Chris Carter and showings of three fan-picked episodes.

Check back in the coming days for video of discussions with the festival’s special guests.

– Blake Hennon | @BlakeHennon

Follow us on Twitter: @LATHeroComplex

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