Roland Emmerich has been talking about an Independence Day sequel for sometime now, which happens to coincide with the release of his upcoming film White House Down. We’ve learned that the sequel will be broken up into two parts – with the first installment being titled ID Forever, Part I, will take place 20-25 years after the events of the first film, and will feature the return of some characters. Bill Pullman and Jeff Goldblum are reportedly returning to duty, and that some of the younger characters from the first film will be back as well. But the one person who isn’t coming back is Will Smith, due to the fact that he is just too expensive.
But Emmerich also says that Smith is just too much of a marquee name and that his stardom will get in the way of the film.
Here’s what he had to say to the NY Daily News about Smith not being in the next film:
“Will Smith can not come back because he’s too expensive, but he’d also be too much of a marquee name,” he said. “It would be too much.”
Ignoring the fact that After Earth was a box office flop, there are a lot of incentives to have if a project has Smith’s name in it. So to cite something like an expensive price tag or being too famous as the reason why he isn’t in the film is a bit strange.
But Emmerich subtly responded to Smith’s absence in an interview earlier this year:
It’s still some of the same characters, but also new younger characters; it’s a little bit like the sons take over. The first one ends on a little success, but only enough to give the humans hope. And then in the second one they free themselves again [from the aliens].
It seems that Emmerich didn’t anticipate his return or wasn’t planning on it, so he molded the sequel to revolve around a newer generation of characters, while also including some familiar ones.
ID Forever, Part I, is scheduled for a July 3, 2015 release.
[Source: NY Daily News]