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20 Independence Day Facts


As we countdown here at Live For Films for the release of Independence Day: Resurgence let’s take a look at some great facts that you might now have known about the original

  • The idea for Independence Day came from an unlikely source. Whilst on a press tour for his 1994 film Stargate, Director Roland Emmerich was asked by a reporter if he believed in aliens. His response was a no, but his answer would become the seed of an idea. “It’s interesting. What would happen if tomorrow you woke up and big alien ships were hovering over all the major cities of the world?” he then turned to his writer Dean Devlin “I think we have the plot for our next movie”
  • The producers were under pressure to release the film in July as they were aware of Tim Burton’s alien invasion parody Mars Attacks was due for release in August that year.
  • In the beginning scene at S.E.T.I where the first alien signal is discovered R.E.M’s “It’s the end of the world” is playing the in background. Emmerich had to beg the band to let them include the song.

independence day will smith jeff goldblum

  •  The submarine scenes were shot on the same set as Tony Scott’s 1995 movie, Crimson Tide.
  • The US military were going to endorse the film by providing vehicles and uniforms to the production but with one condition, that references to Area 51 were removed from the script. The film makers declined resulting in the army support being rescinded.
  • The scene in Iraq was actually shot in Utah.
  • The executives at 20th Century Fox were initially wary of the Whitehouse being blown up but were persuaded by Emmerich and Devlin.
  •  The Whitehouse explosion was a 10 foot scale model and was one of the first scenes to be shot as the director wanted to use the scene in the advertising for the film.
  •  Independence Day was one of the first films to run a teaser trailer at the Superbowl Halftime with Fox spending $1.3 Million dollars for the advert.

  • The production used a mixture of models and CGI for the effects shots. Around 80% was miniatures with the other 20% created using computers. It won an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.
  •  All of the Aliens were practical effects mostly with a man in a customised suit.
  •  The final look of the aliens was borne of the fact that the director couldn’t decide between two designs so they simply combined them. Therefore the alien has an exoskeleton with a smaller more fragile alien inside.
  •  The 4th July Speech which Bill Pullmans President gives was based on the St Crispins Day speech in Shakespeares Henry V. After pressure from the studio to change the name of the film, Writer David Devlin protested and included the line “Today we celebrate our Independence Day” in the speech to ensure the name stayed.
  • Roland Emmerich allowed characters to improvise. The scenes with Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum in the mothership were mostly improvised.
  • The producers loved Jeff Goldblum’s “must go faster” line from Jurassic Park that they looped it into the scene where he escapes the mothership. Steven Spielberg was reported not impressed.

independence day

  • The original script called for Russell Case (Randy Quaid) to save the day in the final battle by strapping a bomb to his biplane and flying it directly into the alien weapon. However this played negatively to test audiences. The script was changed to include the fact he had a history in the air force and he was given a fighter jet instead.
  •  In the scene where Russell Case flies his kamikaze mission into the Alien laser which eventually destroys the saucer, the initial explosion is actually the same earlier shot of the Empire State Building exploding, flipped and composited onto the ship.
  • In the sound mix of that explosion James Browns voice can be heard.
  • The film was the highest grossing of 1996.
  • Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin were invited to screen Independence Day in the Whitehouse to show then President Bill Clinton.

Independence Day Resurgence is out on Thursday the 23rd June, we can’t wait and some cinemas are even showing the original too.


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