The films, called "ID Forever Part 1" and "ID Forever Part II," have been written by Emmerich and Devlin and handed off to James Vanderbilt (who wrote Emmerich's upcoming "White House Down") for him to do a new draft. The movies are set 20 years after the original, as a distress signal sent by the original invaders as they went down to defeat finally reaches its destination -- which means more of the vicious extraterrestrials are soon on the way. Emmerich said:
"The humans knew that one day the aliens would come back. And they know that the only way you can really travel in space is through wormholes. So for the aliens, it could take two or three weeks, but for us that's 20 or 25 years."
In those two decades, Emmerich said, the human race has rebuilt from the aftermath of the initial invasion, and found some uses for the technology that the first wave of aliens left behind:
"It's a changed world. It's like parallel history. (Humans) have harnessed all this alien technology. We don't know how to duplicate it because it's organically-grown technology, but we know how to take an antigravity device and put it in a human airplane."
And just who will be piloting that airplane? Emmerich hinted that a mix of returning characters like Bill Pullman's President (retired now, we presume) will be joined by new heroes, like the grown-up stepson of Will Smith's character from the first film:
"It's still some of the same characters, but also new younger characters; it's a little bit like the sons take over. The first one ends on a little success, but only enough to give the humans hope. And then in the second one they free themselves again (from the aliens)."