Back-to-Back Independence Day Sequels, Will Smith Locked?
Remember in November when we reported that there wasn't just one, but supposedly two, Independence Day sequels in the works? Well, apparently that's true. IESB has a big update from one of their sources who claims that 20th Century Fox has those two Independence Day sequels aiming shoot back-to-back with Will Smith. One of the big snags holding this sequel back over the last fourteen years has been that Will Smith wants more and more money. Word is he will now get $20 million up front as well as part of the gross to star in this, mainly because Fox is now floating in all kinds of cash thanks to Avatar's mega (financial) success.
Apparently they're using that "extra" Avatar cash to put some big new franchises in the works, including Independence Day 2 and 3. According to IESB, who is still only reporting all of this as a rumor, Will Smith is "now locked" for both movies, which could start shooting as early as 2011. This might also be Roland Emmerich's next feature after he finishes his William Shakespeare film Anonymous, therefore also delaying the Foundation Trilogy even more. Smith will also have time to still shoot Men in Black 3 (or The City That Sailed) before the sequels, so it could line-up nicely in his schedule. Fox must have some very grand ideas!
Again, since this isn't confirmed, I'm not going to go around hooting and hollering about finally getting an Independence Day sequel (two of them!), but I am going to say I'm pretty excited for this to happen. After seeing Roland Emmerich destroy the world so many times recently, I'm glad to see him getting back to his "roots" (so to say) and deliver a sequel to one of my favorite Emmerich movies ever, not to mention one of my favorite Will Smith movies ever. Plus, I can only imagine where they'll be taking the story this time and how they'll up the ante. It'll be very tough to top the original, but I'm looking forward to seeing them try!
Update: I have no clue whether to believe this or not, but Gossip Cop (ugh) says that they contacted one of Will Smith's reps who apparently told them that all of this is "not true at this time." To me that sounds like they're just denying it temporarily for the time being (and it is true), plus I don't trust a gossip site over our fellow movie blog brethren. Just wanted to let you know this "update" claiming it's false is out there, at least.