Will Smith Won’t Be in ‘Independence Day 2′; Cast Will Be Half New Characters

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independence day will smith Will Smith Wont Be in Independence Day 2; Cast Will Be Half New Characters

It’s taken 17 years, but Fox has at last dated Independence Day 2 to hit theaters during (when else?) the Fourth of July holiday frame in 2015. The sequel will pick up in real-time, some twenty years after the first movie. However, co-writers Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich (the latter is returning to direct) have revealed that ID4-2 takes place in an alternate present-day reality, where humanity has spent the last two decades harvesting the alien technology featured in the first movie.

Cast-wise, Independence Day 2 is expected to bring back characters from the first film – like former U.S. president Thomas J. Whitmore (Bill Pullman) and MIT graduate-turned cable repairman Dave Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) – but Captain Steven Hiller (Will Smith) won’t be among them. Similarly, the cast will be half new characters, some of whom may become more prominently featured in a third installment (assuming the first sequel is a satisfactory box office hit).

Devlin and Emmerich had mapped out the ID4 sequel as a two-part narrative arch, under the working title ID Forever Part I & II. The latter has informed Collider that “I think [Fox] decided to only do one first” for the time being, and has set James Vanderbilt (the writer for Emmerich’s White House Down) to polish off the script.

That’s understandable, given that Emmerich’s disaster blockbuster formula isn’t so fresh nowadays (following ID4The Day After Tomorrow and 2012), and the self-contained nature of ID4 gives all the more reason to wonder if demand for a sequel is so high after many years. Not to mention, the number of alien films released in recent years – a handful of which proved to be mediocre or worse – make it harder to get enthused about yet another blockbuster that feature extraterrestrials in an apocalyptic scenario (the end-of-the-world sub-genre is, likewise, starting to feel over-saturated at this point).

independence day will smith jeff goldblum Will Smith Wont Be in Independence Day 2; Cast Will Be Half New Characters

As for Smith’s lack of involvement, Emmerich told the NY Daily News:

“Will Smith can not 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.”

What’s funny is that Smith has made it known that he doesn’t want to turn into “the sequel guy,” and yet many of his oft-rumored upcoming projects are followups to his previous tentpole successes (Bad Boys 3, Hancock 2, I Am Legend 2, etc.). While M. Night Shyamalan’s After Earth – which stars Will and his son Jaden – has performed below expectations, the sci-fi film has still managed to take in $172 million worldwide; meaning, the ex-Fresh Prince’s ability to get projects green-lit probably won’t take that big a hit (and it won’t change his mind about not becoming the go-to guy for sequels).

Moreover, Will Smith’s recent performance in Men in Black III was lacking and felt almost phoned-in; it’s no surprise that he’s not interested in making a fourth movie right now (in my opinion). That’s to say, his focus appears more on tackling challenging dramatic roles at this stage in his career anyway, along the lines of those from The Pursuit of Happyness, Seven Pounds and the upcoming Winter’s Tale.

Maybe Smith would come back if Emmerich were developing Co-Dependence Day instead?


Independence Day 2 invades theaters on July 3rd, 2015.

Source: Collider, NY Daily News

TAGS: independence day 2


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  1. Sucks that Smith won’t be in it, but really happy that Goldblum will be in it.

    • He’ll probably get his brat of a son in it…

      • yeah, his son totally ruined “The day the earth stood still”! What I say is that Jayden Smith did for The day the earth stood still as Dakota Fanning did for War of the worlds…..complain, whine and have hissy fits.

    • No. It’s Great that he won’t be in it.

    • I agree with you. The original movie had a great ensemble cast with Will Smith leading
      the pack but the rest of the cast will have to carry the sequel.

  2. Gonna be an awful lot of “blockbusters” vying for our money that year…I doubt this one will get mine – until I rent it.

  3. I like the idea of this sequel. It is positioned in an awful tough spot in the summer of 2015. Avengers 2, Star Wars 7, Pirates 5, among others. It’s really going to have to be spectacar to do good business. I hope it does well, I loved the first one.

  4. “Will Smith Won’t Be in ‘Independence Day 2′” ~ Article Tittle



  5. The only Will Smith i would like to see soon is Bad Boys 3!!!

    • AGREED!

  6. Spoiler Alert(??): I sincerely hope that they update the plot line in keeping with our modern sensibilities, particularly when it comes to technology. We’re way too savvy to fall for the ‘upload a virus from a Macbook’ routine these days.

    My guess is the new film will have our plucky heroes trick the alien horde into installing the latest version of iTunes right onto their Homeworld’s mainframe. If Goldblum and Co. can fiddle with ‘hashtag algorithms on the planet’s core CPU’ (hey, I don’t write this stuff), they can cause the Alien’s entire homeworld to basically shut down when all the little Bug- eyed Critters try to sync their various iDevices at once.

    But not before former Prez Whitmore sends them all one last tweet: July 4th – Still our Independance Day you alien cockroaches! #UpYourDockingStation

    This solves both the alien problem, and the mystery of exactly *who* is standing in line outside Apple Stores for every single gadget and software patch they belch out.

    Sadly, I don’t expect an ending much more sophisticated then the one I’ve proposed…*sigh*

  7. eddie Murphy can easily replaece smiths character

  8. Jaden Smith?

    Didn’t Will Smith’s character’s girlfriend have a son? It’s been so long I barely remember.

    I’m kidding about Jaden, but they should cast someone as the son to take over the mantle of hot shot hero.

  9. So glad he won’t be back in the sequel !!! Will is an overrated actor. Seriously…did anyone see the first film because of will ? He wasn’t even big then. I refuse to pay to see anything he is in…matter of fact ID4 was the last movie I saw him in.
    I really hate when actors demand more than what they are worth; not to mention, some want a precentage of the movie’s take as well as merchandising.
    What sold ID4 from the beginning was the trailer with the White House being blown up. SOLD.

    • So you skipped Ali, Men in Black 1, 2, and 3, Enemy of the State, I, Robot, I Am Legend, Bad Boys 2 and Hancock? How can you judge the guy’s acting if the last movie you saw him in was 17 years ago? You come across as pretty ignorant.

      • I was wandering the same thing. How could someone be jedgemental about an actor whom they saw in one movie. Mr. Smith isn’t the best actor out there, but he is pretty good and I happened to especially like After Earth. It’s pretty poignant and often times bleak in it’s action sequences and other situations when necessary. The first Independance Day movie was a surprise because of its scope, story, and action; so maybe this one will be as well.

        • Will Smith is actually a great actor. Trouble is, he honestly seems tired of acting. He really hasn’t put forth much of an effort in any movie he’s done since Seven Pounds probably. That was 6 years ago.

  10. Is this movie really even needed???

    • Probably not in the way they are going to do it.

      Through the Independent Day universe would allow for some interesting sequels if good writers were bought on board.

      But instead we will probably get 2 hours one side or the other blowing s*** up.

  11. I am way into ID4.2, and it does not bother me that Will Smith is not coming back. As long as some of the characters return, and the plot for the new film(s) is well-conceived. The long gestation period is no guarantee of that, but the creators have said they would only do this if it was worth doing…here’s hoping.

    ID4 is the only film that I ever went to see 3 times in the theater. I was a teenager then, but I recently watched it on TV, and was extremely impressed by how fantastic the visual effects still look. For the type of film that it is, I’m not sure that there has ever been anything better. I have little interest in post-apocalyptic films and have never seriously felt the need to watch 2012 or The Day After Tomorrow – ID4 is an alien invasion film, with fantastic design work and an incredibly epic scale. Bring on the sequel!

  12. Hey, so long as they keep up all the idiotic comedy of the first movie, all the while the earth is about to be taken over, this movie will rule!

  13. “Cast will be half-new charachters”…so, will it be their top halves, or bottom halves, that are new? Will the rest of their bodies be old? And how will you hold them together, “Gorilla-Glue”?!

  14. Maybe if one of kids wanted to be in the sequel he might consider even if they didn’t pay him what he wants. Probly demand a package deal for him & one of his kids. To me he’s like Kanye West, (Im king of the world),lol.

  15. Will Smith does not seem to care about acting in general, so it’s a good thing he will not be in it. Perhaps he should just retire?

    • I’m going to assume you didn’t see The pursuit of happiness or 7 pounds???? he seemed to care about acting in those as he easily beat any one else in the acting profession in those two movies.

  16. Good. I can’t stand Will Smith and his nepotism.


  18. I’ll take Independence Day 2 and a fresh prince reunion while you’re at it…Will is the man…he could be Batman if he wanted…Ben Affleck? Really?

  19. Loved ID4, it is still one of those go to movies for me. I am guessing that this story line had it that it has taken the aliens 20 years to come back and since earth is now using alien tech everywhere, the aliens are able to somehow turn that against earth’s population, but that is just a guess. The original movie stood just fine on it’s own, I don’t know if they really need a sequel, but I will probably go to see it just to see how they continued the story.

    For those who say that Will Smith’s nepotism has gone too far, I say why shouldn’t a father who is proud of his son do what Will has done for hi son. If a man owns a mom and pop store and primes his son to take it over some day, people think that is great, but if a Father who is an actor does the same thing for his son, evereyone complains.

    • They shouldn’t make a sequel. The first one was good enough. If they want to make one, that’s their choice. But I think some things should just be left alone. EG: “John Carpenter’s The Thing” (1982 version). A prequel was made in 2011 and was horrible compared to the 82 version. Some projects are just best left alone. But knowing Hollywood, it’s all about money. And that’s what ruins some sequels or prequels.

    • Amen… I completely agree.

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  21. This will be Epic Fail without Will Smith

  22. i am all for this movie. yes there has been some saturation over recent years with end of the world flicks and numerous alien orientated content, but come on – id4 kicked it off and on an epic scale. it was the only movie i had to pre-order and that was a vhs tape. plus will smith made that movie what it is and the effects of course

  23. Will Smith is to karate what naughty is to potty. Lotty dotty wotty sotty totty. Also i loved him in water sung hiplong and goosey souled tottenham. He’s toats whyyo.

  24. I think that decision saved the movie because Will Smith sucks now he just lost it he really did. Or his trying to pass the buck to his son failed miserably. Either way when I hear the name Smith for a movie be it Will, Jayden, and or Jada I run the other way!

  25. if David Arnold doesn’t get to score this sequel, then I am going to boycott this film.

  26. well I think if Wil Smith is too expensive then they should just leave him behind. I like Mr Smith and I am fond of his work but I don’t believe that it’s right to the movie stars think that they’re irreplaceable. I myself and looking forward to the sequel and we’ll see the movie with or without him.

  27. Does anyone ever stop to think that maybe it’s not the actor who makes a movie bad or good but the script and the writing?? Although it doesn’t matter what movie Denzel Washington is in, he makes them all good.

    • You are totally correct that a movie is very dependent of its script. But interpreting the script is also an import part which can either sink or lift a movie. I’ve seen movies with really bad scripts that have been watchable because of the actors, and I’ve also seen really good scripts being destroyed by really bad actors.

      Here we have now two main issues: Will was not one of the big-ones in the first Independence Day-movie; He was quite unknown. But the fact that he was unknown, yet had such a charismatic screen presence, made him one of the more unforgettable characters in the movie. Thus people want to see him back.

      The other issue is that if they bring back Smith’s character they must really bring back Smith. If they bring in i.e. Washington his character must be another one. But the problem with that is that people will always think “Oh so they replaced Smith’s character with another black dude”.

      And if if Smith is really doing something he likes no one can beat his performance if the character is meant to be a bit goofey yet badass. No one. But as someone mentioned above Smith has really not put much effort into anything lately.

  28. Will Smith needs to be in it, it will not be the same without him. And do not dis his son he should be in it too!Will Smith is the reason movies are good!

    • “Will Smith is the reason movies are good!”

      Have you seen “After Earth”? The one thing destroying that movie, apart from M. Night Shamalon, Jaden Smith*, bad writing and piss poor CGI, was Mr. Will Smith. “I am Legend” was quite boring as well… Not the worst, but boring.

      *I don’t hate Jaden. I like him very much in e.g. “Karate Kid” and in “the pursuit of happiness”. But in “After Earth” he was just awful (to his defense he had nothing to work with either…).

  29. I am legend is very good and after earth is amazing too! After earth is really good and works with father and son,but honestly give me at least 3 good reasons why Will Smith is not a good actor/why you don’t like him, please.

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