LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 26: Bill Pullman attends the press night performance of 'Mad House' at The Ambassadors Theatre on June 26, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
Movies - TV
How Bill Pullman's Independence Day Speech Changed The Title Of The Movie
Roland Emmerich’s 1996 mega-blockbuster film “Independence Day” follows Earth’s struggle against alien invaders and humanity’s desperate counterattack. 20th Century Fox wanted the movie to be called “Doomsday” to focus on the destruction caused by the would-be extraterrestrial conquerors, but the name was later changed thanks to Bill Pullman’s iconic speech.
After the studio insisted on “Doomsday,” Emmerich and co-writer/producer Dean Devlin changed the shooting schedule to prioritize the speech. The scene sees President Thomas J. Whitmore (Pullman) delivering a rousing speech citing the day’s date — July 4th — as not just an American holiday but a global one where humanity asserts “our Independence Day.”
Pullman shared that Emmerich and Devlin “really wanted ‘Independence Day,’ so we had to make the speech really good.” After several nights, Devlin showed the final cut of the scene to Pullman, prompting the actor to say, “Holy Mother, they have got to name this movie ‘Independence Day.’” The studio finally relented, and the film went on to earn $817 million at the box office.