Roland Emmerich has stated that he would be moving forward on an Independence Day sequel whether or not the original film’s star Will Smith would come back for a second round of fighting alien invaders. It appears as if Emmerich will be going it alone. Deadline is reporting that “Smith [has] informed the studio that he won’t be joining in on a sequel.”
Smith’s non-involvement shouldn’t necessarily derail Emmerich’s and the studio’s plans to get the film into theaters by their already announced release date of July 4, 2016. As we’ve mentioned before, screenwriter James Vanderbilt has been working on two versions of the sequel’s screenplay. In one version, Smith’s hotshot fighter pilot Captain Steven Hiller is the center of the action, while in the other the character is absent.
Deadline’s source notes that this is not quite written in stone yet, noting that the actor still has to meet with Emmerich and that “Smith has been back and forth before on whether to make the movie.” Smith’s vacillation on participating in the sequel has been noted before.
For me, I have to admit some disappointment that Smith is passing on returning to a film that helped launch him to superstardom. Most of his recent efforts have left me cold, and I think that the film could be a good point for him to reboot his own career.