Will Smith appears to be too famous and too expensive to return back to the next Roland Emmerich picture!
In a chat with Complex Magazine, director Roland Emmerich (White House Down) told the publication that Will Smith would not be returning as the film's protagonist. "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."
Debuting the same year The Fresh Prince of Bel Air went off the air in 1996, Emmerich is now working on not one, but two sequels to his hit sci-fi thriller that found Big Willie getting his first taste of box office blockbuster success. There's no word on whether the other original stars — Jeff Goldblum, Vivica A. Fox, Bill Pullman and Harry Connick, Jr. — will return for Independence Day 2. "We're not doing a total reboot, we're doing something that's totally unusual. I think some aliens will be back."
Emmerich first launched the idea for a pair of Independence Day follow-ups back in 2011, but the project stalled, namely because Smith reportedly wanted $50 million to appear in the movies. Smith's price tag hasn't lessened in the past two years, and besides, in the wake of After Earth, there's reason to question Smith's continued dependability to open a movie on a grand scale.
With those factors in place, Roland Emmerich hopes to add some fresh new talent to the project's sequels and give the project an ensemble feel. "We have like maybe half of the people that you would know from the first film, and the other half people are new," Emmerich said.
Props: Complex Magazine