Independence Day: Bill Pullman Reveals The Original Title

1996’s end-of-the-world movie Independence Day originally had a different title, actor Bill Pullman has revealed. He told CinemaBlend that the studio, Fox, originally wanted the film to be called “Doomsday.” Writer-director Roland Emmerich and co-writer Dean Devlin were “in contention” with Fox about the title, and they ultimately got their way after one fateful night of filming.

Pullman, who played the US president in the movie, said Devlin and Emmerich were lobbying for the title “Independence Day” instead of “Doomsday,” and the iconic speech that Pullman’s character gives was central to convincing the studio.

“We had to make the speech really good. And then they cut it together, and a couple of nights later, Dean came to my trailer, and he said, ‘Do you wanna see it’? … So he popped in the VHS, he showed me the cut of the speech, and I went, ‘Holy Mother, they have got to name this movie Independence Day.’ And they did,” Pullman said.

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In the speech, Pullman’s President Whitmore gives an impassioned address to fighter pilots who are about to fly into danger to try to take down the aliens who are attacking Earth.

He says, “We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight! We’re going to live on! We’re going to survive! Today, we celebrate our Independence Day!”

20 years after its release, Independence Day got a sequel with 2016’s Independence Day: Resurgence. The movie was written by Devlin and Emmerich (who also directed), but it was not so warmly received. Emmerich later acknowledged the issues, saying he regretted making the movie after original star Will Smith dropped out.

Emmerich is known for directing movies about the end of the world. In addition to Independence Day, he directed The Day After Tomorrow and 2012. Looking ahead, Emmerich is directing a movie about the moon crashing into Earth and threatening to wipe out humanity.

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