Will Smith is Just Too Expensive to Return for 'Independence Day 2'

June 24, 2013
Source: NY Daily News

Will Smith

The release of Roland Emmerich's new summer blockbuster White House Down is just days away, and following Fox's announcement of an Independence Day sequel dated for summer 2015, you can bet the filmmaker has been fielding questions about the long developing project. Initially, the plan Emmerich recently discussed included two sequels called ID Forever Part I and Part II, which would take place 20 years after the events of the first film, when alien reinforcements finally arrive to attack Earth. But the humans aren't unprepared this time. One of the biggest questions was whether or not the original film's star Will Smith, now an international sensation, would return, and it sounds like he's just too expensive now.

Speaking with the NY Daily News (via Collider), Emmerich revealed:

“Will Smith cannot come back because he’s too expensive, but he’d also be too much of a marquee name. It would be too much. We have like maybe half of the people that you know would know from the first film [in the script] and the other half people who are new.”

So there you have it. This make sense considering one of the new human heroes is supposed to include Smith's stepson Dylan, played in the original film by Ross Bagley. Bill Pullman has also expressed interest in returning, but it's likely he couldn't be president after 20 years have passed. Maybe he's a senator or something like that. Either way, Emmerich points out that this is certainly a direct sequel and not a franchise restart, "We're not doing a total reboot, we're doing something that's totally unusual." We're not sure what may make this sequel so unusual, but right now the focus is only on one sequel, so stay tuned.

Find more posts: Casting, Development, Movie News



"Hey man, I got five kids to feed!"

Isildur_of_Numenor on Jun 24, 2013


What?They don't like falafel?

Xerxexx on Jun 24, 2013


lol, true cinephile shit right there - first two posts are direct quotes from different films structured like a conversation. I love movies.

sedna on Jun 24, 2013


After Earth.

Xerxexx on Jun 24, 2013


That's what happens when Will Smith buys a house that's bigger than Walmart! Now he needs a huge paycheck to keep paying his mortgage! And feed his kids kobe beef, truffles, and caviar.

The Truth on Jun 24, 2013


Don't forget the fresh Benjamins to wipe with.

DAVIDPD on Jun 24, 2013


LOL! True!

The Truth on Jun 24, 2013


I thought Roland said no more movies like this. I guess life makes liars of us all!

DAVIDPD on Jun 24, 2013



nahh on Jun 24, 2013


fuck will smith, let Terrence Howard do it.

truong18 on Jun 24, 2013


In an article about exorbitant bring up Terrence Howard? Yeesh.

JM on Jun 24, 2013


If you're referring to Iron Man.... He did an interview where he clarified that they wanted to give him a lot less than the first movie.... not that he wanted a lot more.

rolyjimenez on Jun 24, 2013


So? He didn't deliver, and subsequently his fee was lowered. No one's fault but his own.

JM on Jun 24, 2013


He was the highest-paid in the first though, in a film with Downey, Bridges and Paltrow. That's the crock to me, not whatever happened with IM2.

OfficialJab on Jun 24, 2013


Affirmative action? 😀

JM on Jul 1, 2013



OfficialJab on Jul 1, 2013


I was talking about how he would fit into the role for will smith, why would i care about how much he getting pay. yeesh

truong18 on Jun 25, 2013


That is ridiculous. Independence Day made $800M worldwide. You're likely looking at a similar figure for the sequel(s). They could give him the single largest acting paycheck in history and the movie would still turn a healthy profit. But of course, Smith should probably not expect to get his usual fee after the weak performance in "After Earth". The last good movie he made was "I Am Legend", about 6-7 years ago... he really should be doing anything possible to star in the ID sequel, if anything it would keep him relevant.

John on Jun 24, 2013


U lost me at "the last good movie he made was I Am Legend"

Tester on Jun 24, 2013


$800million at the boxoffice in 1996.....your number is unadjusted for 2013....and not counting rentals, sales, TV and streaming rights, merch....sweet zombie jesus, we're talking around $2 Billion here. Whaddayamean you can't afford Will Smith

David Banner on Jun 24, 2013


Didn't Will say recently that he was moving away from blockbusters? I'm all fine and well with Will staying away from this garbage..

whoa on Jun 24, 2013


He probably said he wouldn't do the movie unless Jayden Smith was in it.

Ryan Gonzalez on Jun 24, 2013


Pullman would be secretary of defense...

MIke on Jun 24, 2013


A simple cameo by Smith would suffice and is far cheaper.

Steven on Jun 24, 2013


Just have his ship blown up in the beginning, 'It's a trap' style.

Carpola on Jun 24, 2013


The last good movie I saw Will Smith in was "Pursuit of Happiness" in 2006.... Hancock was mediocre at best yet it's getting a sequel. Willy should be taking any role that will leave a good taste in ppls mouths... not worrying about making top dollar or being "the main character." It's even another good opportunity to book his son to play his stepson in the film.... Nah, forget it... Bring back Buckwheat from the Little Rascals

rolyjimenez on Jun 24, 2013


I wanted to hear him say "Welcome to erf!. . .again" 🙁

Guest on Jun 24, 2013


Will Smith Is killing his career, i dont think he realizes that people are getting over his charm, and the only way i can see getting behind him if he does act like his 90's self again. But he refuses to do that, and i say im fine with it, bye dramatic Will Smith that was only good in Pursuit of Happiness.

Sky on Jun 24, 2013



Nielsen700 on Jun 24, 2013


Pullman is still cheap right?

OfficialJab on Jun 24, 2013


He's demanding a physicist's salary these days I hear...

cobrazombie on Jun 24, 2013


"Will Smith cannot come back because he’s too expensive, but he’d also be too much of a marquee name. It would be too much."..... WHA??? Thats one of the most ridiculous things I`ve read today.

mmmmmmmm on Jun 25, 2013


Straight to DVD without Will Smith. It's just another alien invasion flick. You see those everywhere now. Back then, it was the first of the resurgence.

NoWillNoMovie on Jun 25, 2013

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