Hey Yo! Draven here.
Director, Roland Emmerich has confirmed that original INDEPENDENCE DAY star, Will Smith will not be back for the sequel that is now dated for July 3, 2015. He told NY Daily News,
"Will Smith can not come back because he's too expensive, but he'd also be too much of a marquee name, It would be too much."
He did give us a few hints though on who would return,
"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,"
In the past both Bill Pullman and Jeff Goldblum have confirmed that they will have a role in the sequel, this has not been confirmed though by the studio or Emmerich.
He also confirmed that it will be a direct sequel,
“We're not doing a total reboot, we're doing something that's totally unusual”
I am not sure Fox would feel that Will Smith is “too much of a marquee name”. I guess after the failure of AFTER EARTH, he has lost a little bit of his luster when it comes to the studio executives. INDEPENDENCE DAY was the film that launched Smith to super-stardom and he obviously has no problem coming back for sequels, and he now needs a hit more than ever, so it’s a little surprising that he isn’t going to have a role with this.
Emmerich has previously said that he wants to make two sequels to INDEPENDENCE DAY, titled ID FOREVER: PART 1 and ID FOREVER: PART 2. No word yet if that is still the plan but if he is still planning that, you would think they would both have to be green-lit together, which would make this an even bigger risk.
There really isn’t any precedent for this, and Fox is taking a big chance on this, especially without Will Smith’s involvement. When I say there isn’t precedent, I can’t think of any blockbuster film that got its first sequel, twenty years later. Like Emmerich said, this isn’t going to be a reboot or a remake, this is going to be a sequel about the alien’s response to the original film.
We also found out that WHITE HOUSE DOWN and ZODIAC screenwriter, James Vanderbilt is currently re-writing the script to the INDEPENDENCE DAY sequel, although it is not a page one re-write.
I don’t know how it is going to work out or what the expectations are for this. But it is a little weird that the sequel is finally coming together and now we know it is going to be without its original star.
What do you guys think? Does the absence of Will Smith effect your anticipation for this film, one way or the other?
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