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Michael B. Jordan Might Succeed Will Smith In 'Independence Day' Sequels

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act September 26, 2013 at 6:19PM

When you're *hot* you're *hot* right?
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Michael B. Jordan
Michael B. Jordan

When you're *hot* you're *hot* right?

Likely thanks to his star-turn in the much-talked-about Fruitvale Station, Michael B. Jordan's name has been rumored to be attached to a handful of rather high-profile studio projects in the last few months since that film's theatrical release. From the upcoming Fantastic Four reboot, to Star Wars: Episode VII, to Rocky spin-off Creed (his Fruitvale Station director Ryan Coogler's follow-up), and now this...

The Wrap is reporting exclusively that Jordan is in contention for "a major role" in Roland Emmerich’s Independence Day sequels. Emmerich is said to have met with several upstarts, and Jordan is on his short list for the FOX project, although no offer has been made yet. But Jordan is definitely interested.

Naturally, the question this raises is whether Will Smith will indeed sit out the next 2 films, paving the way for Jordan to take over for him; or whether Jordan will play his son, in a handing-off of the baton.

Last we covered this, it was announced that Will Smith likely wouldn't be returning for the Independence Day (ID4) sequels, because he's "too expensive," according to director Emmerich. 

It was previously reported, about a year ago, that Fox wasn't at all against going ahead with both films without Will, if they decided that his demands were too steep.

What demands? Well, most significantly, Big Willie reportedly asked for $50 million to appear in both films, and Fox balked at the idea. There was also talk of Poppa Smith wanting to include his wife and kids in the movie (said New York magazine).

Will's salary for the first film was about $5 million; not bad, considering he certainly wasn't the proven box office champ that he would later become. I'd assume that any sequels to ID4 would cost more than the $75 million the original film did. How much more, I don't know. But given the current budgets of many high-profile, special effects-laden, 3D blockbusters (oh yeah, the sequels will be in 3D), I wouldn't be shocked if the budgets for ID4 parts 2 and 3 are in the $150 - $250+ million range (including salaries of course). 

So Will Smith asking for $25 million for each isn't all that unreasonable, is it? Given that, if he was to headline each sequel, he would most likely be the main box office draw (along with the computer generated alien effects).

However, Emmerich did also say that the sequels would be "a bit like the sons takeover," meaning maybe Will Smith wasn't expected to be part of the sequels in the first place - at least, not in any meaningful way - and the story-lines for each film will instead focus on a new generation of human heroes, including Will Smith's character's eventual stepson (Vivica Fox's kid) in ID4 (who was played by Ross Bagley, now 24 years old). 

Michael B. Jordan is 26, and looks his age, so he'd be perfect, assuming Emmerich will go ahead with the "sons takeover" premise. I doubt that Emmerich and FOX would go with Bagley to play an older version of himself. 

Some of the original cast will be back for both 2 films, which will begin 20+ years after the first film. 

Bill Pullman has already confirmed that he's definitely game for returning. I wonder if Vivica Fox will as well...

The 2 films will be called: ID Forever - Part 1, and ID Forever - Part 2

We'll see how this all shakes out. I haven't exactly been longing for ID4 sequels, but I'll still see them if they do get made, with or without Will Smith, and/or Michael B. Jordan. Although I do wonder what other young actors FOX and Emmerich have on their short list, and whether they're all black.

This article is related to: Michael B. Jordan, Will Smith


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