20 Things You Don’t Know About Independence Day

Independence Day

The fat lady sang quite a while ago, Now news about the Independence Day 2 is in the air, Will Smith won’t be joining the cast of the sequel of 1996 blockbuster hit movie. We really loved Independence Day it was fun, fast paced and humorous and Will Smith was on top of his game. Movie wasn’t great just because of Will Smith, It was a great mix of talents Jeff Goldblum shared his brilliant body movements with his unparalleled dialogue deliveries and Bill Pullman’s speech was simply hair-raising.

Here is a list of 10 things you didn’t know about the movie. Not yet.

  1. According to producer/co-writer Dean Devlin, the US military had agreed to support the film by allowing the crew to film at military bases, consulting the actors who have military roles, etc. However, after learning of the Area 51 references in the script, they withdrew their support.
  2. The scene in which Will Smith drags the unconscious alien across the desert was filmed on the salt flats near Great Salt Lake in Utah. Smith’s line, “And what the hell is that *smell*?” was unscripted. Great Salt Lake is home to tiny crustaceans called brine shrimp. When they die, the bodies sink to the bottom of the lake (which isn’t very deep) and decompose. When the wind kicks up just right, the bottom mud is disturbed and the smell of millions of decaying brine shrimp can be very very bad. Apparently, nobody warned Will.
  3. Producer Dean Devlin said that well over half of the dialogue in the scenes Jeff Goldblumshared with Judd Hirsch and Will Smith was improvised.
  4. The President’s speech was filmed on 6 August 1995 in front of an old airplane hangar. The hangar once housed the Enola Gay, which dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima exactly 50 years earlier on 6 August 1945.
  5. Director Roland Emmerich was notified one day that Robert Loggia was very upset and refusing to leave his trailer. Days earlier, producer Dean Devlin accidentally suggested to Loggia that he watch Airplane! (1980) for inspiration when he actually intended to suggest Airport (1970). Not familiar with either film, Loggia rented Airplane! and after watching it thought that he had unknowingly been participating in the production of a “spoof” movie.
  6. The White House which exploded was built at 1/12 scale, just to be blown up (although it was also used in one other shot, when David and Julius stop the car in front of the White House). Nine cameras filmed the explosion at various speeds, one of which was 12 times faster than normal, then played back at normal speed to make the explosion seem larger and slower on film.
  7. The film was banned in Lebanon under pressure from Hezbollah, because it included scenes where Israeli and Iraqi soldiers joined forces, in the montage where militaries around the world signed onto the U.S.’s plan to counter-attack the alien forces. In 1996 (and to the present day), Lebanon officially boycotts any form of entertainment that features Israelis.
  8. The final sentence of the President’s speech was not in the original script and was added at the last minute for dramatic effect in an effort to convince 20th Century Fox not to avoid a legal battle to earn the right to name the film “Independence Day.”
  9. Except for the bi-plane during the crop-dusting scene, any airplane seen in the air in this film is either a model or computer-generated effect.
  10. Bill Pullman used the memory of a decayed tooth which was pulled from his mouth in order to come up with a terrified expression when speaking with the alien invaders.
  11. The “futuristic” looking computer in the control center at Area 51 are components of an IBM AN/FSQ-7 Combat Direction Central, built in 1954 to protect the US from Soviet bomber attack. It was the largest and heaviest computer system ever built, the full system weighing 6000 tons and taking up an entire floor of a bomb-proof blockhouse. Components of decommissioned systems were sold for scrap and bought by film and television production companies who wanted futuristic looking computers, despite the fact they were built in the 1950s. The components used in this film were previously used inThe Time Tunnel (1966) and The Towering Inferno (1974) amongst many others.
  12. Shown on a computer monitor in the SETI office is a diagram of “Deep Space Satellite Devlin” (named after producer/co-writer Dean Devlin). The satellite is a miniature version of the Death Star with solar arrays attached.
  13. Shot in 72 days, an unusually short period of time for such a big blockbuster.
  14. The advertising campaign cost US$24 million. The airtime for the trailer shown during the Superbowl alone cost US$1.3 million.
  15. The line, “Eh, fuck my lawyer,” was said by Harvey Fierstein and the expletive was dubbed over with “forget” in the final cut.
  16. The character of President Whitmore was originally intended to be a Richard Nixon-like figure. The role was originally written for Kevin Spacey, co-writer Dean Devlin’s friend from high school. An executive at Fox refused to cast Spacey, insisting he didn’t have the potential to be a big star. The part was re-written and Bill Pullman was then cast in the role.
  17. Matthew Perry was originally offered the role of Captain Jimmy “Raven” Wilder but pulled out at the last minute. His father John Bennett Perry plays a secret serviceman in the movie.
  18. The movie features, thanks to special effects, 3,978 F-18 Hornets, 52,278 pieces of debris, 3,931 alien attackers, 1,549 missiles, and 22,014 light balls.
  19. The highest-grossing movie of 1996.
  20. The characters ‘R’ and ‘2’ on the area 51 doors are a reference to R2-D2 in Stars Wars A New Hope.

Cameo

Dean Devlin:  producer and co-writer is the voice of the fighter pilot alongside the President’s plane who says, “I’m on it,” targeting the alien ray only to be blasted out of the sky a moment later.

William Fay:  co-executive producer can briefly be seen on the TV in the Oval Office as a SETI employee during the “Operation Welcome Wagon” scene.

 

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