There is no doubt that Independence Day was the film that slingshot Will Smith’s rising star deep into the stratosphere. But he won’t be back to fight off the second alien invasion in the recently announced sequel.
Speaking with the NY Daily News, Independence Day 2 director Roland Emmerich broke the rather surprising news –
Will Smith can not 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 and the other half people who are new.
This may come as a disappointment to some fans, but it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Sony had approached the actor back in 2009 with the possibility of making two Independence Day sequels and the actor reportedly requested a $50 million paycheck. Granted, I would suspect that Smith’s quote may have come down a bit as since then he has released the box office duds Hancock, Seven Pounds and most recently After Earth, but I suspect that he could ask for a higher paycheck for an Independence Say sequel. I’m just scratching my head over Smith being “too much of a marquee name.” The original film was very much an ensemble piece, with Smith being the standout performer. Is this is an indication that Emmerich is looking to do form a similar ensemble this time around and might not want someone who would upset that balance?