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Director Confirms Will Smith "Too Expensive" and Not Returning for ID4 Sequel

by Vanessa Martinez
June 23, 2013 12:32 PM
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Director Ronald Emmerich confirmed to New York Daily News that Will Smith will not return for the ID4 sequel, which apparently will be the first of a two part story (ID Forever, Part I and Part II).

While promoting his latest film White House Down, Emmerich stated: "Will Smith can not come back because he's too expensive, but he'd also be too much of a marquee name," adding that,

"It would be too much."

No surprise there, going by rumors of Smith's salary demands. Read Tambay's piece from March HERE, which also elaborates on the filmmakers' plan for the plot, said to be about "the son's takeover."

Although he didn't specify who will return for the new movie, Emmerich did say that about "half of the people that you know would know from the first film (in the script) and the other half people who are new."

Regarding the new plot, the director says is not a total reboot but "something that's totally unusual."  Screenwriter James Vanderbilt is currently adding his final touches to the script, originally penned by Emmerich and producer Dean Devlin.

Fox has confirmed the sequel's release date for July 3, 2015.
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  • Katie | June 23, 2013 10:47 PMReply

    Then I guess my butt ain't watching, because Will Smith is the only reason I would watch. *shrug*

  • JaySmack | June 23, 2013 10:06 PMReply

    Huh? Will Smith's name automatically takes a project from normal to blockbuster in 1 second flat. How can he be "too expensive" when his name is guaranteed money?
    Sounds more like Roland Emmerich knows that Will Smith's too good for his crap movies, and he's hoping to save face by saying it's his idea not to have Will Smith in the sequel to a flick nobody has been clamoring for.

  • Akimbo | June 23, 2013 6:49 PMReply

    I'll be very surprised if he doesn't end up doing a top-secret cameo or recording some voice over for the film.

  • John | June 23, 2013 5:58 PMReply

    I wanna know if Mae Whitman is returning, frankly.

  • Adam Scott Thompson | June 23, 2013 5:00 PMReply

    "Independence Day" has a special place in my heart. I remember being blown away by it as a kid, but it was also the first time I understood the power of the total movie experience.

    I remember the first teaser trailer, with those large discs dislodging from the mothership... heading for earth. I remember the destroyer ships blocking out the sun, covering entire cities. We showed up on July 3 at noon to see the movie -- it was sold out -- and had to kill time for hours before the show we finally got tickets for started. And the film was everything I expected.

    It was after that, that I knew for sure: I want to have a hand in an experience like that one day. And I began to learn about the art form known as screenwriting.

    But nostalgia won't prevent me from saying... this is a COMPLETELY UNECESSARY sequel! I just hope they can get Jeff Goldblum, at least. To my mind, he stole the show in this film (Will, I'm sorry!) and in "Jurassic Park."

  • Donella | June 23, 2013 3:16 PMReply

    Good move for Will not returning. He's opened tremendous markets overseas for Black leads in scifi and action. I hope he continues to focus on widening his international reach on Overbrook projects. And let's hear it for a Black director and/or screenwriter someday soon.

  • Miles Ellison | June 23, 2013 3:04 PMReply

    Does it really matter if he's in this movie or not? All that really matters is the quality of the CGI explosions.

  • Amari | June 23, 2013 2:48 PMReply

    I think it is good that Will is not going to be in the movie. What he needs to do is continue to break ground in terms of roles African-Americans play. He has made hits out of sci-fi movies, romances, and really needs to return to drama for he has really overstayed his welcome in the action genre, in my opinion. Also, having his name attached to an all-black production could be really good for up and coming talent. Well, as long as he doesn't have his kids involved. Though Jaden and Willow are certainly interesting, their careers feel a bit more like they are testing the waters than really trying to commit to anything and master that craft.

  • JMS | June 23, 2013 2:17 PMReply

    Will has already stated that he didn't want to do blockbusters anymore. I say promote the After Earth series. Its really good. Jaden is a great actor. Build the family business i.e. Overbrook Entertainment with his own projects.

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