Adding to the roster of stars returning from the original Independence Day, Brent Spiner [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]. He'll once more don the frightwig belonging to eccentric scientist Dr. Brackish Okun.
Spiner was five years out of Star Trek: The Next Generation when he turned out for Roland Emmerich's sci-fi spectacular in 1996. Having played the buttoned up Lieutenant Commander Data for seven seasons, he clearly relished cutting loose a bit for the more chaotic Dr. Okun, whose attempt at an alien autopsy didn't go terribly well. There's an "Independence Data" joke here somewhere. Please insert as you feel is appropriate.
The character of Okun was actually based on Jeffrey A. Okun, Emmerich's VFX supervisor on Stargate. The fictional version, you may recall [spoiler], appears to be dead by the end of Independence Day 1, but Spiner has teased in recent years that he was just in a coma.
It's not all old characters, however. Also revealed as joining the cast this morning is Joey King (The Conjuring, Oz The Great & Powerful) who wasn't even born when the first film was released. Her role is, as yet, unspecified.
Few exact details are known about the plot for the follow-up, although we can assume that there will be a return engagement with the resource-coveting aliens that humanity faced and saw off in the first film. Jeff Goldblum and Vivica Fox are confirmed to be returning, with Liam Hemsworth, Jessie Usher and Charlotte Gainbourg also booked for roles.
Hemsworth is former President Whitmore's (Bill Pullman, not definite, but possible) son-in-law and Usher is the son of Captain Steven Hiller, as played in the original by Will Smith, who is as of now not coming back. Fox is levelling up from her previous status as "exotic dancer" love interest to Usher's Mom.
Emmerich is currently in pre-production ready for a shoot this summer and a June 24, 2016 US release. UK audiences see Independence Day 2 a few days later on July 1.