As director Roland Emmerich courts Will Smith to reprise his role as Captain Steven Hiller in the Independence Day sequel, the 45-year-old actor is looking around at other science fiction/action films to star in as a way to get back on top of the box office. Smith’s After Earth was a box office and critical disappointment earlier this year, so whatever he chooses to appear in next needs to be a hit.
According to The Wrap, Will Smith is attached to a new sci-fi film called Selling Time. Written by Dan McDermott, Selling Time follows a man who is offered the opportunity to re-live the worse day of his life. In exchange, the man will receive seven more years to his existing life. There is no director attached at the moment, but a few top-tier screenwriters tried to tackle the script in the past, such as Spike Lee.
Apparently, Smith “does not have an official deal in place but he is in the process of coming aboard.” It also appears that Smith had the opportunity to star in the film, but due to scheduling problems he was unable to commit. John Davis (Predators, I, Robot) is attached to produce the film with Jennifer Klein (Pearl Harbor, Armageddon) for Davis Entertainment. Selling Time will find a home with the movie studio Twentieth Century Fox.
Smith is most likely going to take a producer’s credit on em>Selling Time as well. These days, Smith likes to play a major role in a film’s construction. On After Earth, Smith received a story and producer credit, and was responsible for bringing M. Night Shyamalan on to the project.
Dan McDermott is a former DreamWorks Television president. He wrote and produced episodes of the TV series Angela’s Eyes, Human Target, and Zero Hour. Selling Time is McDermott’s first screenplay for a feature film.
Smith’s involvement in Independence Day 2 is still unknown, so Roland Emmerich wrote two versions of the sequel film’s screenplay: one with Smith in the leading role, and one without. If Smith doesn’t return for the alien invasion movie, it’s believed Michael B. Jordan (Chronicle) might play the film’s lead as the grown-up version of Dylan Hiller, Captain Steven Hiller’s stepson from the first Independence Day.
Smith is currently producing the new Annie remake with Jamie Foxx and Quvenzhané Wallis in the leading roles. He can be seen in the upcoming film Focus and Akiva Goldsman’s directorial debut, Winter’s Tale. Smith is also making a cameo appearance in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues later this year.
The premise of Selling Time sounds very reminiscent of the film Groundhog Day and Edge of Tomorrow (formerly All You Need Is Kill). It’s going to be interesting to see if Smith ends up landing a hit with Selling Time. He needs one if he hopes to recapture the glory years of the past decade.