July 4th is all about independence… and Will Smith.
Smith may have started out as the Prince of Bel-Air, but he’s evolved into the undisputed king of the Fourth of July. One of Smith’s many July 4th blockbusters is the 1996 action film aptly titled Independence Day, in which the charismatic star recites cool catchphrases, punches out aliens, and, oh you know, basically saves the world from certain intergalactic peril.
Despite the fact that Independence Day was once the second highest-grossing film of all time, Smith will not be reprising his role as Captain Steve Hiller for the hotly anticipated Independence Day sequel, which is scheduled to arrive in theaters next summer.
Instead, returning stars Jeff Goldblum, Vivica A. Fox, and Bill Pullman will join Independence Day newcomer Liam Hemsworth in an attempt to once again save the world from an alien invasion.
Before we look ahead to the 2016 sequel though, let’s first take a look back at the iconic original film.
Here are 10 things you never knew about Independence Day:
1. Matthew Perry was originally cast to play Captain Jimmy Wilder. The Friends star couldn’t squeeze the role into his already busy shooting schedule, so it was ultimately given to Harry Connick, Jr. Perry’s father, John Bennett Perry, does however appear in the film as a secret serviceman.
2. Audio from Jurassic Park was used in Independence Day. The production team was so enamored with Jeff Goldblum’s “Must go faster” line from Jurassic Park that they added that audio to the scene where Steven and David are being chased out of the alien mothership in post production. Goldblum never actually spoke that line while Independence Day was being filmed.
3. The White House interior sets seen in Independence Day were later used in another alien invasion film. The sets, which were initially built for the 1995 movie The American President, were also used in the 1996 Jack Nicholson comedy Mars Attacks!
4. Bill Pullman used the memory of a decayed tooth being yanked from his mouth to convey fear when speaking with the alien invaders. Not to question Mr. Pullman’s method, but wouldn’t staring into the frightening eyes of this handsome fellow do the trick?
5. Director Roland Emmerich’s film crew came up with original nicknames for the entire cast. Will Smith was nicknamed “Mr. Charisma,” while Jeff Goldblum received the moniker “Nice” because of his tendency to say “Nice! Nice!” when agreeing with Emmerich’s direction.
6. Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich wrote Independence Day in four weeks. Keeping with the theme of brevity, the film was shot in only 72 days.
7. Do you enjoy watching blockbuster movie trailers during the Super Bowl? Thank Independence Day. Back in January of 1996, film advertisements during the Super Bowl weren’t nearly as prevalent as they are today. The buzzworthy Super Bowl teaser for Independence Day, which cost $1.3 million dollars, has been credited with starting the trend.
8. The character of President Whitmore was originally written for Kevin Spacey. Spacey went to school with Independence Day co-writer Dean Devlin, but an executive at Fox refused to cast Spacey because he didn’t believe he had the potential to be a big star. The character was originally conceived to be a Richard Nixon-like figure, but the role was eventually rewritten.
9. Independence Day won an Academy Award. Unfortunately, the Oscar wasn’t for Outstanding Achievement in Jeff Goldblum Reaction Shots.
It was for Best Visual Effects.
10. Due to legal issues surrounding the title, the film initially had to be referred to as ID4. Before 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros. reached a deal for the rights to the Independence Day title, Invasion and Sky on Fire were suggested as potential alternate titles.
Enjoy your Independence Day!
For the latest pop culture news and voting, make sure to sign up for the People’s Choice newsletter!