‘Independence Day 2’ finally on its way after getting green light

Shooting is due to start next May, but Will Smith won't be returning

Independence Day 2 is finally on its way, Deadline has confirmed, after being given a green light by 20th Century Fox.

Shooting is due to start next May for a planned release date of June 24, 2016 – just in time for the 20th anniversary of the original starring Will Smith, Bill Pullman and Jeff Goldblum, which followed a last-ditch effort to thwart an alien invasion taking place on July 4; the day of America’s annual Independence Day holiday.

Smith is said not to be returning for the sequel, but original director Roland Emmerich is about to sign a deal to helm the follow-up to his 1996 blockbuster. The casting process for Independence Day 2 will apparently get started once Emmerich, who has also contributed to the sequel’s script, is officially locked in.

Dean Devlin, who co-penned the original’s screenplay with Emmerich, has also been involved in the writing process second time around.

Independence Day 2 has been in the works for some time, with Emmerich and Devlin first trying to devise a storyline around a decade ago. Back in 2012, Emmerich spoke about the possibility of making a pair of Independence Day sequels, but at present, 20th Century Fox has only given a green light to one new film.