With Twentieth Century Fox announcing a whole swath of new science fiction films coming out over the next few years, such as Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and the Assassin’s Creed film adaptation, the long-awaited Independence Day sequel is officially in the works. When the first of two new Independence Day films is released in 2015, it will be the first new Independence Day movie since the original film back in 1996. Some of the original cast is expected to return to the Roland Emmerich alien invasion film, including Bill Pullman and Jeff Goldblum, but one Hollywood movie star is opting out of the Independence Day sequels altogether.
In an interview with the New York Daily News, Roland Emmerich says that Will Smith will not return to the world of Independence Day. The big reason is because he’s simply too damn expensive for what Roland Emmerich wants to do with the Independence Day sequels. Emmerich explains:
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. We have like maybe half of the people that you know would know from the first film and the other half people who are new.
Will Smith, who played Captain Steven Hiller of the U.S. Marine Corps, became a big movie star because of the first Independence Day movie, so it’s a little disappointing that he will not return to the sequel films. It is rumored that the new Independence Day movies will take place 20 years after the first film, and will feature Captain Hiller’s stepson Dylan (Ross Bagley) in a bigger role.
After the abysmal domestic box office performance of After Earth, you’d think Will Smith would be itching to be back in a successful movie franchise again. Considering that the first Independence Day grossed $817.4 million worldwide, it appears the Independence Day sequel is that sure-fire hit movie.
Independence Day 2 will hit theaters everywhere on July 3, 2015.