Titan, out now
A look at the making of both Independence Day films…
This coffee table sized book is far more than just an Art of and Making of the 2016 return to the ID4 franchise – Simon Ward’s text covers the making of the original film, with plenty of behind the scenes looks at the creation of that epic movie, before moving on to a plethora of art and information on the sequel.
The book kicks off with a summary of the events of the first film, as told by Jeff Goldblum’s character David Levinson, before getting into detail on the characters (with some interview material, notably not including Will Smith in the section on Steve Hiller – surely there were press notes from 1996 that could have been mined?) and the making of the film. This is perhaps not as strong as it could be, and could have been reduced in length – some pictures are used far, far too large (a shot of President Whitmore is a particular offender).
There’s then a Levinson-related section on the years between the films. Those who have followed every other iteration of the tie-in material – from Victor Gischler’s comic book to Greg Keyes’ interim novel Crucible – know how this played out… but that’s not the sequence of events related here, which is, frankly, a little daft given they’re all coming from the same publisher! The Crucible version is more plausible.
But then we get into the meat of the book, and all these reservations are swept aside. This section makes the book worth every penny, with concept art and insight into the making of the new movie. There are chapters on all the key bits of tech, as well as the changes to the aliens themselves. Designs, artwork, and photos from the film blend together to create an excellent overview, with input from key personnel in relevant places. Sadly, the book doesn’t bear a credit for the designers – one has to assume this was an in-studio job at Titan, and on this part, they’ve done a fantastic job.
It doesn’t cover every aspect of the franchise but, given the less than stellar reaction the new film received, I suspect this will be it for Independence Day (although I hope I’m wrong) so this book will stand as the permanent record.
Verdict: An excellent look at Independence Day: Resurgence, even if the earlier parts aren’t up the same standard. 8/10