Independence Day dog

In today’s Movie News Rundown: SAG-AFTRA’s president won’t return; the creators of Independence Day look back after 25 years; the Academy gets some cool new members.

SAG-AFTRA: Gabrielle Carteris will not seek reelection as SAG-AFTRA president and is instead supporting former The Nanny star Fran Drescher to succeed her, Deadline reports. Drescher also has the backing of Unite for Strength, the union’s leading party, which former Beverly Hills 90210 star Carteris has led since assuming the presidency in 2016.

An Independence Day Oral History: Well this is a delight. The Hollywood Reporter‘s always good Aaron Couch did a very cool oral history of the Will Smith alien invasion classic. I always thought Independence Day, which came out 25 years ago, in the summer of 1996, was the optimistic version of how humans would react to an alien invasion. And Tim Burton’s Mars Attacks!, which came out that winter, was the more cynical (and perhaps realistic) version. This confirms that Independence Day director Roland Emmerich hurried his film into production because he knew Burton was working on a film with a similar alien-invasion premise.

‘The Comedy Cannot Come Out First’: There’s an old adage that if two movies with similar concepts come out at the same time, the more dramatic one has to come out first or people won’t take it seriously. (And the comedy can actually get a boost because the things it is making light of will be familiar to audiences, thanks to the drama.) Or as Emmerich recalls arguing way back when: “There is this Tim Burton movie. It is a comedy. The comedy cannot come out first. So we have to tie in Independence Day.” At one point Bill Mechanic, who took over the studio, came to me and said, “We tested the title. It’s not working really well. We want to open this movie on Memorial Day.” I said, “Tough luck. It stays Independence Day. It will be released on Independence Day.”

Man: This post is really gonna kill it in SEO on the phrase “Independence Day.” I’m sorry if you came across it while looking for Independence Day mattress sales.

Why Yes: It is a slow news day.

New Academy Members: The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has invited 395 artists and executives to join this year, and about 46% are women, 39% are in underrepresented ethnic/racial communities and 53% are from 49 countries outside the United States. Eighty-nine are former Oscar nominees, including 25 winners. The new additions include many of those who were nominated for or won Oscars last year, including Travon Free, Emerald Fennell,  Lee Isaac Chung, Florian Zeller, Alexander Nanau, and Craig Brewer. Did we just hotlink our recent interviews with those new Academy members? Damn straight.

Here Are the Big Presidential Speeches in Mars Attacks! and Independence Day: Both equally powerful.

Main Image: Boomer the dog survives an alien attack in the best scene in Independence Day.