"I was never a big fan of sequels": Roland Emmerich talks Independence Day: Resurgence

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In his 30 year career and filmography of movies that have grossed more than $3 billion worldwide, Roland Emmerich has never made a sequel.

Yet that's all about to change with his latest film, Independence Day: Resurgence - his eighteenth movie and his first sequel.

It's the follow-up to his 1996 hit Independence Day and sees the world once again being invaded by aliens. Yet the decision to sit back behind the camera for Resurgence wasn't an easy one.

"I have to kind of be honest, I was never a big fan of sequels," says the German filmmaker.

"So when they came to me and said 'do you want to make a sequel?' I said 'let me think, let me think'.

"Over the years I had so much fun making original movies, but then something peculiar happened.

Maybe six or seven years ago I shot a movie called 2012 and it was the first time I used full digital cameras. There were no more models involved.

"All of a sudden I realised what kind of freedom this gives you and then I started thinking maybe I should do an Independence Day sequel?

"Because it's an alien invasion you have a lot of freedom about what you can do and I got more and more into it."

The first film's ground-breaking special effects relied heavily on models, practical effects and using digital technology to bridge the space in between.

"I have to kind of be honest, I was never a big fan of sequels."

Independence Day was a massive worldwide hit back in the 90s, with the film breaking box-office records and redefining audiences expectations of what a blockbuster was.

At the time, Emmerich said he was "super surprised" by the response.

"I had an inkling a few weeks before the film was about to open, everyone was talking and saying 'when is your movie exactly coming out?'

"And I was like 'how do you know about our movie?' It was just magic.

"When people on the street start talking about your movie ... it was interesting, there was a man working at Fox – Tom Sherrick – he said 'it’s not a movie, it’s a phenomenon' very early on and he was right."

Independence Day: Resurgence opens in cinemas Thursday, June 23.

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