Independence Day 2 Casts a Woman President, In Support of Hillary Clinton?

By  · Published on May 4th, 2015

Screen Gems

Following the disappointing recasting of Mae Whitman’s character for Independence Day 2, I should be ignoring any further news about the sequel. But this latest casting notice is pretty interesting. In case you were under the impression that Bill Pullman is still the President of the United States 20 years later, having been elected for five more terms given his heroism and leadership during the alien invasion, you’re wrong in your presumption. Instead, during the events of this new movie, the Commander in Chief is a woman. According to Deadline, she will be played by Sela Ward.

The actress, who identifies as Republican in real life, previously worked with director Roland Emmerich on The Day After Tomorrow. Emmerich, who identifies as a Democrat and was a strong supporter of Hillary Clinton back during the 2008 election, is probably hinting here that he’d still like that particular woman in the White House in 2017. Her husband, Bill Clinton, was president when the first Independence Day was released. That same year, meanwhile, Ward was co-starring in a movie about US presidents, My Fellow Americans, though she played a reporter rather than a politician.

Having a woman play the POTUS is nothing new in movies. More than 50 years ago, Polly Bergen took residence in the White House for Kisses for My President, and since then we’ve seen such actresses as Joan Rivers and Christina Applegate in the cinematic Oval Office with many more taking on such a role for television. In fact, we currently have women presidents on both VEEP (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) and State of Affairs (Alfre Woodard), and of course any current casting of this sort can’t help but remind viewers of Clinton’s bid for office in next year’s election.

Could Independence Day 2’s casting of Ward impact the Clinton campaign when the movie opens next summer, or will she be out of the race by then? And if she isn’t, could the movie be as bad for her as The Day After Tomorrow was for the climate change debate? I know, it’s all ridiculous to ask when all you’re thinking about is alien invasion action.

Christopher Campbell began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called Read, back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials. He's now a Senior Editor at FSR and the founding editor of our sister site Nonfics. He also regularly contributes to Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes and is the President of the Critics Choice Association's Documentary Branch.