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Made in New Mexico: ‘Independence Day 2’

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — After months of buzz on social media, the state Film Office can finally confirm it – “Independence Day 2,” with an anticipated budget of $200 million-plus, will start filming in New Mexico on May 4.

Nick Maniatis, New Mexico Film Office director, said the production will employ about 300 local crew members and more than 4,000 local background talent workers.

The film is directed by Roland Emmerich.

“I’m beyond excited to bring the sequel to ‘Independence Day’ to New Mexico,” Emmerich said. “With their state-of-the-art Albuquerque Studios, the robust tax-incentive program, the proximity to Los Angeles and, last not but least, its talented cast and crew, New Mexico is a great fit for my movie.”

It’s been nearly two decades since the first “Independence Day” stormed into theaters and racked up $306 million in the United States and $881 million worldwide.

The first film saw Will Smith as Captain Steven Hiller as he battled aliens and included such iconic scenes as the White House being blown up.

The sequel will be missing Smith, but Jeff Goldblum, Vivica A. Fox, Bill Pullman and Judd Hirsch all will return. Joining them will be Liam Hemsworth and Joey King.

In the sequel, the next epic chapter delivers global catastrophe.

Using recovered alien technology, the nations of Earth, anticipating the invaders’ return, have collaborated on an immense defense program to protect the planet. But nothing can prepare the world’s leaders for the aliens’ advanced and unprecedented force. Only the ingenuity of a few brave men and women can hope to bring the world back from the brink.

Maniatis is often looking for film and TV projects to round each other out, and looks for tent pole types of films like “Independence Day 2” to be in the state for a number of months. According to the Internet Movie Database, the film’s budget is estimated at more than $200 million.

More than 700 productions have been filmed in New Mexico, including 205 major film and television projects since 2003 with budgets over $1 million each.

An average of $235 million is now spent directly in the state economy each year by film and television companies.

The film industry had a $1.5 billion total economic output in New Mexico throughout a four-year span starting in 2010. An estimated 15,848 full-time jobs were created by the industry during that time period.

Casting calls for extras have already been announced. On Location Casting is looking for extras for the show to work from May 4 to Aug. 18.

Extras casting directors are looking for numerous types of people. For more information, visit or email