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Director Roland Emmerich on the Independence Day sequel: No Will Smith and only one film (for now)

Jun. 24, 2013by: Jesse Giroux

ID4 White House

Last week a release date was announced for INDEPENDENCE DAY 2, which came as a bit of a surprise considering it wasn't clear when the project was officially green light and there hadn't been that much news about the film recently.

Emmerich is promoting his latest film WHITE HOUSE DOWN and in an interview with Collider he revealed some new details about a sequel to INDEPENDENCE DAY. Since the film is scheduled to be released in 2015 many thought he'd start work on INDEPENDENCE DAY 2 soon and in the interview Emmerich confirms he wants the sequel to be his next project.

Roland Emmerich and co-writer/producer Dean Devlin had already said that the film would take place twenty years after the first (which is still the plan apparently) but at this point there will be only one film and not two as previously reported.

I think they decided to only do one first.

"They" of course being Fox and you can't blame them for being a little cautious about opening up their checkbooks for two big budget sequels based on a twenty year old movie. However I'm sure if the sequel is a big hit a third movie could be developed very quickly.

Roland Emmerich also spoke to the NY Daily News about the sequel and said that while some characters from the first film might appear in the new film, Will Smith's Captain Steven Hiller will not be back.

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 (in the script) and the other half people who are new.

I think most people will be fine with Will Smith not returning if there's a chance that Jeff Goldblum and/or Bill Pullman will back for the sequel. I know I am. INDEPENDENCE DAY 2 probably doesn't need to happen and there's always a chance it could turn out putrid but I'm willing to give it a shot. The first one isn't a work of art in the first place and it's not like anyone is expecting ID4 2 to be a deep, intelligent sci-fi film. But if it's another enjoyable popcorn flick with some awesome visuals of the world under attack then I'm game.

INDEPENDENCE DAY 2 is scheduled to be released on July 3rd, 2015 while Emmerich's next film WHITE HOUSE DOWN with Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx is out June 28th, 2013.

Extra Tidbit: Bill Pullman's daughter in INDEPENDENCE DAY was played by Arrested Development's Mae Whitman. Her?

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+0
10:32PM on 07/19/2013

Great actor

I'm really sorry Smith won't be in the next movie.... I'm sure many fans will love to see him there...
I'm really sorry Smith won't be in the next movie.... I'm sure many fans will love to see him there...
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7:11PM on 06/24/2013
that's kinda a bummer that Will won't return, but it's no deal breaker. at least bring back Jeff Goldblum and find a way to bring back Randy Quaid!
that's kinda a bummer that Will won't return, but it's no deal breaker. at least bring back Jeff Goldblum and find a way to bring back Randy Quaid!
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2:04PM on 06/25/2013
Randy Quaid's Character is pretty dead. Like, really dead.
Randy Quaid's Character is pretty dead. Like, really dead.
5:41PM on 06/24/2013

LOL

I'm going to be fuckin 31 when this shit comes out. I was 12 when the first came out .Do we really need this to happen. Whats going to happen ? aliens can't blow up anymore shit. I have a feeling it'll be like battlefield earth. :( I came up with a crazy idea. What if we go to their planet and fine out that their planet is just like earth, buildings, resources, and they enslaved these different kind of race of humans on their planet, and they came to our's to figure out how to kill us, and
I'm going to be fuckin 31 when this shit comes out. I was 12 when the first came out .Do we really need this to happen. Whats going to happen ? aliens can't blow up anymore shit. I have a feeling it'll be like battlefield earth. :( I came up with a crazy idea. What if we go to their planet and fine out that their planet is just like earth, buildings, resources, and they enslaved these different kind of race of humans on their planet, and they came to our's to figure out how to kill us, and what makes us tick LOLLL.
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4:29PM on 06/24/2013

My Take On Smith's Current Career Choices:

Will Smith is his own brand and he knows it. He sat down twenty years ago with his producing partner James Lassiter and started crafting an image for himself, making film choices and choosing characters that would appeal to a wide enough audience. We all admonish Smith for turning down "slam dunk" roles like Neo in the Matrix and Django in Django Unchained and give him crap for not being a team player, since he requires that he (or now, his son) be THE lead. Hell, he wrote his own story for his
Will Smith is his own brand and he knows it. He sat down twenty years ago with his producing partner James Lassiter and started crafting an image for himself, making film choices and choosing characters that would appeal to a wide enough audience. We all admonish Smith for turning down "slam dunk" roles like Neo in the Matrix and Django in Django Unchained and give him crap for not being a team player, since he requires that he (or now, his son) be THE lead. Hell, he wrote his own story for his last film and designed it to highlight his son. Half the producers are related to Smith by blood or marriage.Think about this: After Earth was the pinnacle of Smith's flexing his control in hollywood, getting his way and not being told 'no' but anybody. It's Smith's right to turn down any role or select any role or develop any property he sees fit. They'll just offer him a smaller budget and a smaller personal fee each time if this pattern keeps up, or, god forbid, he produces independently with his own cash. The truth is, After Earth is Will Smith's first and only failure at the box office in 18 years (I'm talking Bad Boys and beyond) so to write him off would be premature, but it is fair to wonder if maybe he'll finally become a team player rather than worrying about the size and position of his name on the marquee. However, he still has no reason to do that. Maybe Will Smith only wants to produce what Will Smith wants to produce and the idea of being somebody else's hired gun doesn't appeal to him. It's why he personally hires his own writers and directors and a lot of really great scripts that were their own movie, like "TONIGHT, HE COMES" turns into a bland Will Smth-ified movie like "Hancock".

I wouldn't begrudge Smith not returning for an ID4 sequel, because it wouldn't make any sense anyway. He was just a very lucky pilot who wanted to be an astronaut and got his wish in a very weird way. No reason for him to be a national hero or one man army twenty years later.
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+9
3:56PM on 06/24/2013
"Will Smith can not come back because he's too expensive..." Give it time... A few more movies like After Earth and he won't be.
"Will Smith can not come back because he's too expensive..." Give it time... A few more movies like After Earth and he won't be.
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2:02PM on 06/24/2013

Emmerich doesn't need Smith to get people to see this movie.

And he comes with enough calibre to attract some other names. People like watching him blow shit up. I certainly do.
This will do well.
And he comes with enough calibre to attract some other names. People like watching him blow shit up. I certainly do.
This will do well.
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+6
1:42PM on 06/24/2013

Smith probably wasn't gonna be the lead role.....again.

Will Smith probably heard that there would be too many supporting characters and he wouldn't be the lead character in ID4 2, so he said 'No'. Just like he did with "Django Unchained".
Will, I like you a lot, and you were always entertaining to watch in the 90s, if you wanna help kickstart your career again, I suggest reprising your role of Capt. Steven Hiller.
Will Smith probably heard that there would be too many supporting characters and he wouldn't be the lead character in ID4 2, so he said 'No'. Just like he did with "Django Unchained".
Will, I like you a lot, and you were always entertaining to watch in the 90s, if you wanna help kickstart your career again, I suggest reprising your role of Capt. Steven Hiller.
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1:36PM on 06/24/2013
Yeah because everybody is going to line up to see a Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman ID sequel with no WIll Smith. They better get a star suitable to replace him or this is headed direct to dvd.
Yeah because everybody is going to line up to see a Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman ID sequel with no WIll Smith. They better get a star suitable to replace him or this is headed direct to dvd.
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1:09PM on 06/24/2013

WOW . . . . it's hard to believe . . . .

that it's almost 20 years since this movie was released!!!!!
that it's almost 20 years since this movie was released!!!!!
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+5
12:31PM on 06/24/2013
If he can force his son into the movie somewhere I'm sure Smith will come back for half the price. Just sayin, I love Smith but its prolly true.
If he can force his son into the movie somewhere I'm sure Smith will come back for half the price. Just sayin, I love Smith but its prolly true.
Your Reply:



+2
12:00PM on 06/24/2013
The Extra Tidbit line about Egg is the best part of this article!
The Extra Tidbit line about Egg is the best part of this article!
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11:59AM on 06/24/2013
Fox Mulder pretty much summed up my opinions on ID4 and a sequel when he took a piss on the movie poster in the first X-Files film.
Fox Mulder pretty much summed up my opinions on ID4 and a sequel when he took a piss on the movie poster in the first X-Files film.
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11:57AM on 06/24/2013

It's a shame

I would have liked Smith back as I like sequels to have continuity... But I'll be happy if Pullman and especially Goldblum return.

With it being "twenty years after", Whitmore won't be the president anymore so my guess is they'll do a '24' and have a wimpy unlikable president dither and end up referring to Pullman's former prez to save the day (like Logan relied on Palmer)

I agree I'd like to see Adam Baldwin back... But looking forward to some newbies kick some alien arse.

But
I would have liked Smith back as I like sequels to have continuity... But I'll be happy if Pullman and especially Goldblum return.

With it being "twenty years after", Whitmore won't be the president anymore so my guess is they'll do a '24' and have a wimpy unlikable president dither and end up referring to Pullman's former prez to save the day (like Logan relied on Palmer)

I agree I'd like to see Adam Baldwin back... But looking forward to some newbies kick some alien arse.

But please, don't think about bringing in Jaden Smith as a replacement... That would be a mistake.
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11:38AM on 06/24/2013
Is it really that important for Will Smith to come back? He wasn't really the lead in the original anyways, he was for the most part a significant supporting role, only there for screen filler and bring the audience into the action sequences a little more intimately. But the movie really relied on the storyline of Goldblum and Pullman to move the film forward. And where Will Smith's ego is at right now, I doubt he would be interested in reviving a supporting role for a sequel to a movie
Is it really that important for Will Smith to come back? He wasn't really the lead in the original anyways, he was for the most part a significant supporting role, only there for screen filler and bring the audience into the action sequences a little more intimately. But the movie really relied on the storyline of Goldblum and Pullman to move the film forward. And where Will Smith's ego is at right now, I doubt he would be interested in reviving a supporting role for a sequel to a movie twenty years ago.
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11:38AM on 06/24/2013

no Smith, nobody will see this movie

No one will watch his movie if Smith is not in it, he may not have been the sole star of the original but he made the movie. I really don't see anybody going to see this movie if Smith is not in it. I love this movie as corny as it can be and I know i won't watch if if Smith isn't in it.
No one will watch his movie if Smith is not in it, he may not have been the sole star of the original but he made the movie. I really don't see anybody going to see this movie if Smith is not in it. I love this movie as corny as it can be and I know i won't watch if if Smith isn't in it.
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12:30PM on 06/24/2013
There could be 14 Will Smiths in this movie and I won't see it.
There could be 14 Will Smiths in this movie and I won't see it.
11:36AM on 06/24/2013
Is it really that important for Will Smith to come back? He wasn't really the lead in the original anyways, he was for the most part a significant supporting role, only there for screen filler and bring the audience into the action sequences a little more intimately. But the movie really relied on the storyline of Goldblum and Pullman to move the film forward. And where Will Smith's ego is at right now, I doubt he would be interested in reviving a supporting role for a sequel to a movie
Is it really that important for Will Smith to come back? He wasn't really the lead in the original anyways, he was for the most part a significant supporting role, only there for screen filler and bring the audience into the action sequences a little more intimately. But the movie really relied on the storyline of Goldblum and Pullman to move the film forward. And where Will Smith's ego is at right now, I doubt he would be interested in reviving a supporting role for a sequel to a movie twenty years ago.
Your Reply:



11:34AM on 06/24/2013
Like Jurassic Park, Goldblum will take over, and then they'll likey hand the reigns back over to Smith assuming his star falls a little and he becomes affordable.
Like Jurassic Park, Goldblum will take over, and then they'll likey hand the reigns back over to Smith assuming his star falls a little and he becomes affordable.
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11:38AM on 06/24/2013
But Goldblum's character was front and centre for the first Independence Day. Rewatch the movie again and you'll see that the story focuses mainly on Goldblum and Pullman. Will Smith was really just a supporting character throughout that movie.
But Goldblum's character was front and centre for the first Independence Day. Rewatch the movie again and you'll see that the story focuses mainly on Goldblum and Pullman. Will Smith was really just a supporting character throughout that movie.
11:33AM on 06/24/2013
Is it really that important for Will Smith to come back? He wasn't really the lead in the original anyways, he was for the most part a significant supporting role, only there for screen filler and bring the audience into the action sequences a little more intimately. But the movie really relied on the storyline of Goldblum and Pullman to move the film forward. And where Will Smith's ego is at right now, I doubt he would be interested in reviving a supporting role for a sequel to a movie
Is it really that important for Will Smith to come back? He wasn't really the lead in the original anyways, he was for the most part a significant supporting role, only there for screen filler and bring the audience into the action sequences a little more intimately. But the movie really relied on the storyline of Goldblum and Pullman to move the film forward. And where Will Smith's ego is at right now, I doubt he would be interested in reviving a supporting role for a sequel to a movie twenty years ago.
Your Reply:



10:57AM on 06/24/2013
extra tidbit: Perks of being a Wallflower's Mae Whitman* :D
extra tidbit: Perks of being a Wallflower's Mae Whitman* :D
Your Reply:



10:53AM on 06/24/2013
They need Adam Baldwin as Major Mitchell again. Maybe they'll allow him to have grenades this time.
They need Adam Baldwin as Major Mitchell again. Maybe they'll allow him to have grenades this time.
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+1
10:52AM on 06/24/2013
I realise that most of us would want to earn as much as we can possibly get but surely there comes a time when you've earned enough and any wage is just a bonus. So either Will is just greedy or more likely, he thinks he's too big for the role or doesn't have a big enough role or simply doesn't want to make another sci-fi movie after...After Earth.
I realise that most of us would want to earn as much as we can possibly get but surely there comes a time when you've earned enough and any wage is just a bonus. So either Will is just greedy or more likely, he thinks he's too big for the role or doesn't have a big enough role or simply doesn't want to make another sci-fi movie after...After Earth.
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11:36AM on 06/24/2013
I agree with what you're saying. But when you're earning as much as he does per movie, why would you want to take a paycut to revive a supporting role from 20 years ago? I think the whole "can't afford him" is less Will Smith being greedy, and more the studio not having that much faith in this movie and doesn't want to front the cash to get Smith in.
I agree with what you're saying. But when you're earning as much as he does per movie, why would you want to take a paycut to revive a supporting role from 20 years ago? I think the whole "can't afford him" is less Will Smith being greedy, and more the studio not having that much faith in this movie and doesn't want to front the cash to get Smith in.
10:45AM on 06/24/2013
Just replace "expensive" with "scientology-y". If half of the cast is coming back, I wonder who it will be. Hopefully that fucking badass dog, Boomer.
Just replace "expensive" with "scientology-y". If half of the cast is coming back, I wonder who it will be. Hopefully that fucking badass dog, Boomer.
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+10
10:40AM on 06/24/2013
Will Smith is not coming back because possibly his role was not the lead.
Will Smith is not coming back because possibly his role was not the lead.
Your Reply:



10:29AM on 06/24/2013
"Will Smith can not come back because he's too expensive"

I look forward to the day that Will Smith prices himself out of movies altogether. Oddly enough, I've been looking forward to that day since around the time of the first 'Independence Day'. I'm patient.
"Will Smith can not come back because he's too expensive"

I look forward to the day that Will Smith prices himself out of movies altogether. Oddly enough, I've been looking forward to that day since around the time of the first 'Independence Day'. I'm patient.
Your Reply:



10:20AM on 06/24/2013
I think with the fallout of AFTER EARTH, Will should take a pay cut and join the film.

But even if he doesn't, I'm all over this movie and very excited to see where they take it. Goldblum has to come back though, that's a given.
I think with the fallout of AFTER EARTH, Will should take a pay cut and join the film.

But even if he doesn't, I'm all over this movie and very excited to see where they take it. Goldblum has to come back though, that's a given.
Your Reply:



10:18AM on 06/24/2013
So we won't get to hear him go "Welcome to After Earth"?

At any rate, I'm glad this is getting off the ground. I just came home from a White House Down screening - beyond entertaining as hell! Bill Pullman as the president, as well as his daughter, need to come back and kick alien ass as a father-daughter team!
So we won't get to hear him go "Welcome to After Earth"?

At any rate, I'm glad this is getting off the ground. I just came home from a White House Down screening - beyond entertaining as hell! Bill Pullman as the president, as well as his daughter, need to come back and kick alien ass as a father-daughter team!
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11:02AM on 06/24/2013
Can't imagine Bill Pullman will still be president 20 years after the initial movie. However, stranger things have happened in movie-world and I suppose they could change the rules of government to suit the story.
Can't imagine Bill Pullman will still be president 20 years after the initial movie. However, stranger things have happened in movie-world and I suppose they could change the rules of government to suit the story.
11:35AM on 06/24/2013
I think he'd be retired and enjoying post-Presidential life on a ranch or by the countryside, but is compelled to get back in the saddle when the aliens come knocking again.
I think he'd be retired and enjoying post-Presidential life on a ranch or by the countryside, but is compelled to get back in the saddle when the aliens come knocking again.