Ever since the original Independence Day film was released in 1996, the studio has been buzzing about getting a sequel, or two, in the works. Unfortunately, from the way things look right now, they will have to move forward without the assistance of Will Smith.
According to Deadline, Smith has made the decision to not appear in the impending sequel for the alien-invasion adventure. There has been no official word as to why this decision was reached. While Smith is certainly not hurting for work, this was the franchise that sky-rocketed him to the point where he is currently at.
Will Smith has gone back and forth for years on whether or not he would be participating in any subsequent sequels to the film, but it looks like the decision may actually be made. Now, they are saying that the dreaded “final conversation” between the Smith and director Roland Emmerich, but the decision seems pretty final.
It is being said that there are two working versions of the script; one that includes Smith and another that does not. It looks as if they may have to go with the latter. This is definitely a rather large blow to the project; however, it is something that the studio is believed to want to see through to the end. Why wouldn’t they?
The original film had an opening weekend of $50.23 million, grossing $306.17 million domestically. The film did considerably better in the foreign box office where it scored $511.23 million bringing the film to a total of $817.4 million worldwide. There is no reason why the studio wouldn’t want to capitalize on something that strong.
Right now, they are looking to release the film on July 1, 2016. Not only would this be Fourth of July weekend, but would also correspond to the twentieth anniversary of the franchise’s original release.
While I have no doubt that the filmmakers will find a way to make the subsequent sequels work, it is certainly a blow to the project to have to move forward without Smith.
As I said before, the “final discussion” hasn’t happen just yet, but all sources point to this being just a formality at this point.