Independence Day (sometimes styled as ID4) is a 1996 American epic, science fiction film. Directed and co-written by Roland Emmerich, the film focuses on disparate groups of people who converge in the Nevada desert in the aftermath of a calamitous attack by an ostensibly powerful extraterrestrial race from an unknown origin. Along with the rest of the human population, they launch a last-ditch counterattack on July 4 – the same date as the Independence Day in the United States.
While promoting Stargate in Europe, Emmerich came up with the idea for the film when fielding a question about his own belief in the existence of alien life. He and Devlin decided to incorporate a large-scale attack having noticed that aliens in most invasion films travel long distances in outer space only to remain hidden when reaching Earth. Shooting began in July 1995 in New York City, and the film was officially completed on June 20, 1996.