Back-to-Back 'Independence Day' Sequels In The Works Even If Will Smith Doesn't Return

by Kevin Jagernauth
October 27, 2011 4:08 AM
3 Comments
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Jada & Willow To Also Feature?



It was in spring 2010 that word first cropped up about possible back-to-back sequels to the blockbuster "Independence Day," with shooting said to take place as early as this year. Well, that didn't happen, and megastar Will Smith went on to make another franchise sequel instead in the shape of "Men In Black 3," but once again, the sequels are rearing their heads. Director Roland Emmerich, who has long been saying that once a story is in place they'll move forward, teased during an interview with The Lantern earlier this week when he said, "I'd say hold tight. It's happening soon." And it looks like it is.

But before anything can happen there is the 50-million-dollar question -- what about Will Smith? That's the amount he's asking for to reprise his role as Captain Stephen Hiller, and Vulture report that's not the only caveat the actor has. According to their sources, Smith also wants to shoot close to home and possibly include his wife Jada and daughter Willow in the films. Ugh. But the bigger issue is the actor himself. After seeing the turmoil Sony went through in the expensive, delayed, constantly rewritten "Men In Black 3," Fox wants Smith to sign off on everything from top to bottom before shooting even begins to make sure they don't encounter the same shenanigans, and this is something Emmerich confirms Big Willie also seems to want.

"We've talked to him, but naturally he wants to see a script, which I totally understand," the director told The Lantern.

But perhaps most intriguing of all, there is a very large possibility that these movies could shoot as early as next year. The plan right now is for the scripts for both sequels to be delivered by mid-December. While the aim is to make them back-to-back, unlike the 'The Deathly Hallows' or 'Breaking Dawn,' these will be standalone movies, that still exist within the larger "Independence Day" world that be can enjoyed together or individually (think the second and third "Back To The Future" movies). And yes, this means that "One Thousand A.E." over at Sony, mooted to be Smith's next film co-starring his son Jaden and directed by M. Night Shymalan, may not be good to go. Pre-production is apparently moving very slowly in order to please the mercurial tastes of Smith and to once again avoid the MIB3 debacle. As you might imagine, Sony wants to avoid a repeat of what happened on the sequel, but it stands as a testament to the bankability of Smith that they still want to work with him. But with "One Thousand A.E." still not confirmed, it does leave the door open for Smith to get back to killing aliens.

But what if he doesn't return? Fox will apparently do the sequels even if Will Smith isn't on board, which should indicate how eager they are to get this franchise making them more coin. We can't imagine Jeff Goldblum or Harvey Fierstein would be able to greenlight super expensive mega-sequels (but we can dream). We'd wager Fox will try and get another star to take over the lead role, but in that case, why even bother?

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3 Comments

  • Voss | October 28, 2011 11:28 AMReply

    Honestly, I'm making a completely innocent observation, but what is it with modern black A-list actors turning completely conservative and demanding huge-money projects over quality scripts with good filmmakers? Will Smith, Chris Tucker, Eddie Murphy... The big paydays started and they became completely closed-off - only huge checks and sure-thing franchise pictures plz. I understand self-preservation, but Jesus, how much money do you NEED? Have some fun with your status in the industry.

    A-listers like Brad Pitt and DiCaprio consistently work with great filmmakers (sometimes even taking the roles an above-mentioned actor would turn down) and will be remembered for their great work in great films.

    - Will Smith will be remembered for being a very rich dude, who raised very rich kids.
    - Brad Pitt will be remembered as Tyler Durden/the cop whose wife's head was in a box/the dad in Tree of Life/Aldo Raine/Benjamin Button.

    It's their lives and their extremely hard-earned careers, so they can all do whatever they want with them. Jussayin, it's cooler to play ball more often and take chances with talented filmmakers.

  • kure | October 27, 2011 6:18 AMReply

    i dont know,One Thousand A.E has a locked release date so they must be serious about it.as for emmerich he is doing singularity next year so i doubt that this article is totally legit.but i hope they do get everyone back and make these sequels by 2014

  • Tammy | October 27, 2011 4:28 AMReply

    I wish that Will Smith would do more movies but not prequels or sequels to his earlier films. When Men in Black III comes out in 2012, it will be his first major starring role in four years even though he has 38 other projects in various stages of development.

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