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IN THE WORKS: Independence Day Sequels Want To Take Your Money, Even if They Don't Pay for Smith

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood October 27, 2011 at 6:09AM

Fox will make not one but two Independence Day sequels, fifteen years (and counting) after the original Will Smith pic raked in $800 million across the globe. It's not a new idea -- the studio had wanted to green light a sequel for some time, but both Smith and director Roland Emmerich demanded huge paychecks. So Fox focused on developing scripts and declared that the franchise could proceed with or without them.
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Thompson on Hollywood


Fox will make not one but two Independence Day sequels, fifteen years (and counting) after the original Will Smith pic raked in $800 million across the globe. It's not a new idea -- the studio had wanted to green light a sequel for some time, but both Smith and director Roland Emmerich demanded huge paychecks. So Fox focused on developing scripts and declared that the franchise could proceed with or without them.

Vulture reports that Smith, the "last bankable action star" (is he?) wanted $50 million for the two sequels (which will tell a single story) and Emmerich's demands were "hefty" as well. Of their demands, an insider tells Vulture, “It had more to do with ‘Whose dick is bigger?’" Vulture believes that Hollywood "desperately needs Smith," but cites the nightmare behind getting Men In Black II and III made. Smith's last appearance on the big screen was the disappointing 2008 film Seven Pounds, and despite being linked to plenty of potential projects, the star seems more concerned with getting his children franchises of their own (The Karate Kid for Jaden, Annie for Willow) than committing to his own. Here's more.

Check out the Independence Day trailer (below). Emmerich's movie has already spawned many takes on the-world-is-ending theme. Is this the time to cash in on national pride and independence? Unless they replace the aliens with the 1%...

This article is related to: Directors, Franchises, Genres, Headliners, Studios, IN THE WORKS, Action, Will Smith, Angelina Jolie, Twentieth Century Fox


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.