And director Roland Emmerich wants Will Smith back for a cameo

Bill Pullman and Jeff Goldblum will both be back for Independence Day 2.

The original, released in 1996, followed a last-ditch effort to thwart an alien invasion taking place on July 4 – the day of America’s annual Independence Day holiday. Pullman played President Thomas J Whitmore, while Goldblum appeared as a geeky computer expert called David Levinson.

Earlier this month (June), Fox announced that the long-awaited sequel will open in cinemas on July 3, 2015: the Friday of that year’s July 4 holiday weekend. Original Independence Day director Roland Emmerich is returning to helm the follow-up.

Emmerich has since revealed that Will Smith, who played hero Captain Steve Hillier in the original, will not star in the sequel because he is now too expensive. However, in a new chat with Movies.com, Emmerich confirmed that Pullman and Goldblum are both on board for ID2 and also revealed he is hoping to tempt Smith back for a cameo to “pass the torch” to a new generation of cast members.

Emmerich wrote the original Independence Day with Dean Devlin and the pair have also been collaborating on the script for the follow-up, which is now getting a rewrite from James Vanderbilt (The Amazing Spider-Man, Zodiac).