Roland Emmerich Says They’re Only Focusing on One INDEPENDENCE DAY Sequel for Now; Confirms Will Smith Won’t Return

     June 23, 2013


While there had been renewed talk about a potential sequel to director Roland Emmerich’s 1996 over the past few years, the director started speaking pretty seriously about the prospect of a follow-up last year.  Fox finally solidified the project just the other day by announcing a July 3, 2015 release date for Independence Day 2, and now we’ve got a whole new film’s worth of alien invasion to look forward to.  When Emmerich first started talking more seriously about an Independence Day follow-up, he revealed that he and co-writer/producer Dean Devlin were penning not one but two sequels.  A couple of months ago, the director said that both films will take place 20 years after the original and Part 1 will end with a cliffhanger that leads directly into Part 2, but it appears that the second sequel may no longer be a foregone conclusion.

Steve recently spoke with Emmerich at the press day for his upcoming actioner White House Down, and the director talked briefly about the Independence Day sequel, confirming that it is likely his next film and revealing that they’re only focusing on doing one sequel for the time being.  The filmmaker also reiterated that Will Smith will not be returning.  Hit the jump for more.

independence-day-2-sequelWith Independence Day 2 now set for release in 2015, it would appear that the film will be Emmerich’s next project.  Steve asked the director if that was true, to which he responded “So far, yes.”  However, when asked if the plan was still to make two sequels, the director said:

“I think they decided to only do one first.”

While Emmerich and Devlin do indeed seem to have mapped out a two-film story arc, the director’s use of the word “they” sounds like Fox wants to see how well Independence Day 2 does first before giving the greenlight to a further sequel, which is understandable.  After all, it’s been two decades since the first film hit theaters.

Throughout the numerous ups and downs of Independence Day 2‘s development over the past 20 years, the prospect of the film coming to fruition always seemed to hinge on the involvement of Will Smith.  Independence Day marked Smith’s very first “blockbuster” film and, combined with the success of his previous film Bad Boys and his ID4 follow-up Men in Black, the sci-fi pic was integral to turning him into the mega star that he is today.  Nevertheless, the actor has been reluctant to return to the world of Independence Day for a sequel, and a few years ago Emmerich went so far as to say that the follow-up wouldn’t happen unless Smith eventually agreed to star.

independence-day-2-sequel-will-smithBack in 2011, though, word surfaced that Fox was planning on moving forward with Independence Day sequels with or without Smith onboard, and now Emmerich has confirmed to NY Daily News that Smith will not be appearing in the follow-up:

“Will Smith cannot 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 [in the script] and the other half people who are new.”

Watch the portion of Steve’s interview with Emmerich regarding Independence Day 2 below, and look for the full conversation on Collider soon.


Around The Web
  • Joseph M

    Seriously, who really finances Emmerich’s God Bless Uncle Sam fests? The State Department? Also amazed Smith is still too expensive considering his last two films are flops.

    • pinkincide

      Well if it’s anti-Americanism you’re after, you can always watch every other movie Hollywood churns out.

    • Hari

      Men in Black 3 was anything but a flop. The film did great overseas, and was the highest grossing film in the MIB Franchise.

      Even with After Earth struggling, Will Smith is as close to a lock as there is… and he was a supporting actor in After Earth and the film will probably do okay… its at $150M worldwide and will probably end at 200-250M worldwide Which is not good, but its okay.

      And Roland Emmerich in his genre… Action-Adventure is just gold. Do three minutes of research and see how much money 2012, The Day After Tomorrow, and Independence Day made. Why would you not finance his movies?

      • ScaredForMovies

        Researches for 3 minutes. Sees how much money 2012 made. Throws up. Wonders who paid to watch that piece of shit?

  • Leo Spaceman

    Jeff Goldblum, no exceptions. Smith is no real loss as far as I’m concerned, but if Jeff doesn’t come back then I’m out. I love Roland’s big loud and dumb as f**k Popcorn movies but if we don’t get Jeff then its not a Independence Day Sequel, its just another aliens attacking earth film again.

    • Basil Nolan

      Amen bro. Bring back Jeff, or give up the sequel.

  • Leo Spaceman

    Seriously would love to have them make a joke about what the f**k Jeff, you were able to Hack them with an apple computer last time, what do you mean you can’t hack them again?

  • calebrcrawford

    Harry Connick, Jr. or bust! “It’s time to kick the tires and light the fires, big daddy.”

    • VienDammage

      Hate to break it to ya but he perished in the first movie…

    • Basil Nolan

      He didn’t even made it to the second half of the movie.

  • LEM

    Throw The Rock in, it seems to work for other defunct franchises.

    • VienDammage

      Complete with his one style of acting, i.e. I’m bigger than you, what up?

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  • Sam

    Would love to see Channing Tatum in ID sequel..he has the swagger to beat Will Smith!!!

  • VienDammage

    What made ID4 interesting and emotionally involving was the set up of multiple characters a la the old disaster movies of the 70′s. Centering it all around Will Smith would take away from that but he shall be missed!

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  • Basil Nolan

    No Will Smith, no problem. He’s grown cocky and expensive, and certainly would steal screen time from the ensemble cast. Bring back old rivals Pullman and Goldblum.

    • blkyank

      It would be boss to find out Jeff Goldblum served as President of the United States after Bill Pullman.

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