ID4The aliens are coming back…eventually.

Fox has announced that Independence Day 2 (or ID4 2 or ID4ver or Welcome BACK To Earth) will not debut on July 3, 2015 as planned. Instead, the Roland Emmerich feature will explode in theaters on July 1, 2016. That’s a whole extra year we have to wait to see how Emmerich fills the void left by Will Smith.

Indeed, word is that Smith still isn’t returning for the film, which is a damn shame. It’s a shame because a) he was great in the first film and b) he’s been in a (shitty) sequel before so his resistance to starring in another follow-up feels hollow. As well, Independence Day put Smith on the map, it made him a star. C’mon, Will, dance with the one who brought you. Roland Emmerich needs you. The world needs you.

Will Smith aside, ID4 2 is actually cause for cautious optimism. It’ll bring Emmerich and producer/writer Dean Devlin back together. But Emmerich is also bringing in talented writer James Vanderbilt to work on the script. Vanderbilt is legit, having given us the good-but-not-great The Amazing Spider-Man, the really fun White House Down and the undeniably brilliant Zodiac. The guy knows how to pen a blockbuster.

I am excited to see what Emmerich does so many years after the original. A lot of time has passed but that guy still knows how to blow shit up real good.