It’s a bit ironic that Men in Black 3 star, Will Smith, was recently quoted as saying, “I don’t want to be the sequel guy,” especially when there are a number of potential franchise sequels with him in the works. Including a possible Men in Black 4, there are also Independence Day 2, Hancock 2, Bad Boys 3, I, Robot 2 and, of course, I Am Legend 2. While some of you may be confused by Smith’s possible return in that last one, I’ll point you to the alternate ending of the original 2007 blockbuster. Hit the jump for a few snippets on sequel work from Smith and an anecdote about why he passed up the title role in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained.
While I wasn’t a fan of the 2007 sci-fi flick I Am Legend (being more a fan of the source story), I can understand the studio appeal of a sequel. We recently reported that I Am Legend 2 screenwriter, Arash Amel, was making progress on the script before moving on to another project. Smith was also reported to be a producer on I Am Legend 2 in that post, however, as Smith says to BBC News (via Eurweb):
“Producers are working on it. I’m not actually working on it. If it’s great, I’m into it.”
When asked if he’d reconsider, Smith confessed:
“I don’t want to be the sequel guy. I figure I’ve got about six or seven more years where I can run and jump a little bit and then I’m going butt and gut for the rest of my career. Butt and gut.”
However, Smith noted that if fans drummed up a groundswell of support for Men in Black 4, he’d consider the project.
In an unrelated article over at Empire (via The Playlist),Smith talked about turning down the role of the freed slave in Tarantino’s upcoming Django Unchained, and it may not have been for the reasons we all thought (like keeping his squeaky-clean, box office-friendly image):
“I came really close, it was one of the most amazing screenplays I had ever ever seen. I was in the middle of ‘Men In Black 3‘ and [Tarantino] was ready to go, and I just couldn’t sit with him and get through the issues, so I didn’t want to hold him up. That thing’s going to be ridiculous. It is a genius screenplay.”
This is how star Jamie Foxx described it:
“When this movie’s done, there’s gonna be some hot button issues but, given my background, I think I’ll be able to get some points across. The one thing that stuck out to me in the script was that Django was married. Back then, to be married was taboo. This is a love story. He’s not trying to stop slavery. He’s not trying to do anything but find the love of his life – which is like trying to find a needle in a world of haystacks.”
As for whether or not Smith is done with sequels, we’ll have to wait and see how his new project, After Earth, with director M. Night Shyamalan works out.