Welcome Back To Earth: ‘Independence Day 2’ Is Officially Happening

But without Will Smith.

“Independence Day” has not gone quietly into that good night. It has not given up without a fight. It’s going to live on. It’s going to survive. Today, we celebrate…

…the official green-light of “Independence Day 2″!

That’s right: Deadline reports that Fox has confirmed an “Independence Day” sequel for release on June 24, 2016. Director Roland Emmerich is expected to return, but isn’t confirmed just yet. Indeed, nothing is confirmed about the sequel, except that it’s happening — so the jury’s still out on which returning characters we’ll see, if any.

Sadly, it does not look like Will Smith will be one of the veterans back in the fold. Deadline reports that Smith won’t return as cocky fighter pilot Steven Hiller, at least not right now; if he changes his mind, “Fox, Emmerich and Dean Devlin would write him in, in a heartbeat.”

So, no Smith for now, but you remember what Captain Hiller always loved to say — it ain’t over until the fat lady sings.