Roland Emmerich’s burning desire to make an Independence Day sequel (or two) has been well-established over the past few years, but actor Will Smith has been unquestionably a lot more ambivalent about the prospect of revisiting the 1996 blockbuster. He’s gone back and forth multiple times as far as the planned sequels, ID Forever Parts 1 & 2, are concerned, never outright confirming his involvement but not straight-up killing rumors. Until now, that is. Deadline is currently reporting they have it on good authority that Smith has told 20th Century Fox he won’t be participating in the sequel.
Disappointing as this news may be (if it’s true), there’s still plenty of hope for an Independence Day sequel without Smith’s involvement. Indeed, the star’s indecision led Emmerich, producer Dean Devlin and The Amazing Spider-Man scribe James Vanderbilt to begin writing two very different scripts last year, one with Smith and one without him. And Fox is certainly keen – they’ve already set the first sequel for a release date on the weekend of July 4, 2016. So, the fact that Smith reprising his role is no longer in the cards doesn’t spell an end to ID Forever in any sense.
Fox was previously courting hot property Michael B. Jordan (The Human Torch in Fox’s upcoming Fantastic Four reboot) for a role in the film, so Smith’s exit may mean a definite in for the up-and-coming actor, and Emmerich already confirmed that stars Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman will be reprising their Independence Day characters, so ID Forever might not look too unfamiliar to fans of the original, despite Smith’s sure-to-be-felt absence.
Tell us, are you still on board for an Independence Day sequel, even without Smith?