The question of whether or not Will Smith will be in Independence Day 2 continues to churn on. Four months ago, director Roland Emmerich said Smith wouldn’t be returning for the sequel. Then two months ago, Smith was apparently in talks to reprise his role as fighter pilot/alien puncher Captain Steven Hiller. Uncertainty continues to swirl around the project, and it looks like it will move forward with or without Smith. Emmerich has screenplays to do either, and he’s not afraid to use them.
Hit the jump for more.
While doing the press rounds to promote the upcoming Blu-ray/DVD release for White House Down, Emmerich told The Playlist that the status of Independence Day 2 was “A daily battle … The budget, the schedules, the actors … [but] It’s looking good.” But what about bringing Will Smith back? Emmerich was reportedly more evasive on this question, but then said screenwriter Jamie Vanderbilt had written “two versions” of the script. One has Smith and one doesn’t. Emmerich added that the version featuring Smith was looking good.
This leads to the question of how big Smith’s role can possibly be. Bill Pullman and Jeff Goldblum are expected to return, and Michael B. Jordan is heavily tipped to have a role, which could be Hiller’s kid from the first movie but all grown up. If Hiller is a major character in the sequel, then he has a heavy influence on the plot. If he’s a minor character, then it almost negates the point of having Smith in the first place, or it’s a major bait-and-switch. It’s also possible that the Hiller role could simply be swapped in for a new character.
If Smith does decide to come on board, the script development will undoubtedly continue as the actor likes to have a big say in the screenplay (see his desire to change Django Unchained and Quentin Tarantino basically saying “Aw hell naw“).