Will Smith has turned down an offer to star in the sequel to Independence Day.
According to a report from Deadline, Smith has already contacted studio executives to confirm he will not take part in the long-awaited sequel.
Rumors about Smith’s involvement have been circulating ever since the sequel was officially announced last year. Initially, director Roland Emmerich and producer Dean Devlin said Smith would not reprise his role as Captain Steven Hiller because he is now “too expensive.” Independence Day was Smith’s break out role, and in the 18 years since its release Smith has gone on to become one of the most “bankable” movie stars in Hollywood history. Late last year that all changed, when it was confirmed Smith was in talks to return to the role. Now it seems those talks are at an end.
We don’t know why Smith backed out of the film just yet, but money issues seem unlikely since the first movie grossed more than $811 million. However, commentators suggest Smith may have sought a role in the film for one or more members of his family, and the producers were not happy about that.
Even though he has turned down the role, the door will always be open for him to return. In an interview with The Playlist, Emmerich confirmed he will continue to maintain two scripts for the film. One with, and one without, Smith.
Both Bill Pullman, who played the President Thomas J Whitmore, and Jeff Goldblum, who played world-saving nerd David Levinson, will both reprise their roles in Independence Day 2.
The original film, released in 1996, told the tale of a frantic effort to defeat an invading alien force which comes to earth on America’s Independence Day – July 4.
Independence Day 2 is due for release July 3, 2016 – On the 20th anniversary of the first film’s release.
Watch the ‘Honest Trailer’ for the first Independence Day below: