Roland Emmerich had previously said one of the main hold-backs of the “Independence Day” sequel – now greenlit for a July 3, 2015 release – was Will Smith, whose star and price-tag has risen considerably since the release of the 1996 film.
Seems Fox greenlit the film on name alone, because Emmerich confirmed on the weekend – while on the promo trail for his new film “White House Down” – that Smith definitely won’t be back.
“Will Smith can not come back because he’s too expensive, but he’d also be too much of a marquee name,” Emmerich tells The NY Daily News, “It would be too much”.
Now I don’t know about you guys, but I’m not that sad. With what Smith’s been dishing out lately, I could… do without seeing him in something. If he did come aboard, chances are he’d demand son Jaden also got a role – likely as the character’s now grown-up son. But also, he’d probably snag himself a producer credit and take over the production – tailor it to his needs. And as Emmerich suggests, this isn’t a “vehicle” for anyone, it’s an ensemble piece about a ‘group of people’ coming together to battle aliens.. not a one-man army.
“We have like maybe half of the people that you know would know from the first film (in the script) and the other half people who are new,” Emmerich, reuniting with Dean Devlin for the sequel, said.
Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman are said to be two of the original players coming back.
Of the sequel – said to be a two-parter; the first chapter called “ID Forever, Part I”, which will be followed by “ID Forever Part II” – the filmmaker suggests it’s somewhat a reboot, somewhat a sequel. It meets somewhere in the middle.
“We’re not doing a total reboot, we’re doing something that’s totally unusual,” said Emmerich.