Will Smith Unlikely to Be in ‘Independence Day 2′ Or ‘Men in Black 4′

Published 1 year ago by

will smith independence day 21 Will Smith Unlikely to Be in Independence Day 2 Or Men in Black 4

Back in the 1990s, Will Smith was able to solidify his A-lister status in Hollywood – leaving his Fresh Prince of Bel-Air days behind him – thanks to the one-two punch of Independence Day in 1996 (which grossed $817 million worldwide), followed by another sci-fi hit with Men in Black ($589 million global take) a year later. Smith has since protected Earth from the scum of the universe in two additional Men in Black movies, but despite frequent discussions over the years, an ID4 sequel has never come to fruition.

Writer/director Roland Emmerich is working to change that, as he’s been actively developing a followup to his famous monument-leveling alien invasion adventure for at least the past year. He and his ID4 co-writer Dean Devlin have put together two different script drafts for the project (semi-officially known as Independence Day 2, but previously referred to as ID Forever) – one with Smith as Steven Hiller returning and one without him. But which script (both of which have since been revised by White House Down writer James Vanderbilt) is Emmerich likely to end up using?

According to Deadline, the latter is the best guess at this stage, as Smith has “pretty much decided” not to return for the Independence Day sequel. Deadline‘s Mike Fleming Jr. cautions that Smith hasn’t closed this door completely just yet, and the fact that the actor went back and forth on this issue throughout 2013 – first he was definitely out, then he was possibly in – means there may well still be flex room here. Still, the recent progress on planned Smith vehicles like the sci-fi thriller Selling Time and the fantasy drama City That Sailed seems to signal the actor’s interest in pursuing original fare and sticking with his commitment to not becoming “the sequel guy.”

will smith men black 4 Will Smith Unlikely to Be in Independence Day 2 Or Men in Black 4

Emmerich has indicated before that the Independence Day sequel will feature several new characters, so it’s possible that part of Smith’s disinterest is due to his character not getting much time in the spotlight – he passed on starring in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained for similar reasons (i.e. because Django wasn’t really the lead). To be fair, though, it might also be because Smith feels it’s time to let someone else take the helm and guide the Independence Day property (which was always more of an ensemble adventure, anyway) onward from here.

He’s suggested before that it’s for similar reasons that he’s doubtful about coming back for a fourth Men in Black film, and the latest report from Deadline affirms that Smith is unlikely to reprise as Agent J in the future. Sony has recruited screenwriter Oren Uziel (co-writer on the upcoming 22 Jump Street) to put together a Men in Black 4 script, with the intention of rebooting the franchise. That’s partly because having to pay Smith and costar Tommy Lee Jones’ high-salaries has made profiting on the MIB films increasingly difficult (Sony rebooted Spider-Man for similar reasons), but also because Men in Black 3‘s quality indicated that… well… maybe it was time for some new blood, to keep that cash cow alive and well.


Independence Day 2 is currently scheduled for theatrical release on July 1st, 2016.

We’ll keep you posted on Men in Black 4‘s development as more information is made available.

Source: Deadline

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  1. Jayden Smith will take over from here.

    • I’m pretty sure Will has done some top-notch parenting in the sense that Jayden will pass on projects that are below him. At this point in his “career”, I’d put my money on Jayden portraying Ali in a Smallville-esque origins movie.

      Kevin Hart for Agent J!

      • Young MIB: School makes you dumb: the movie

    • Jaden needs to do “The Last Star Fighter!”

  2. I agree with Will, you don’t want to be the sequel guy, but I feel like he is trying to be like Tom Cruise. He HAS to be the star and is rarely in an ensamble films. Like I’ve said before I think it would be good for Will to be in some obscure comedy dramas like Clooney where the pressure isn’t on him to totally carry a film and can hopefully refresh his career.

    • Hes slowly becoming the crappy or boring movie guy.

      • Exactly Cody! It’s more like Will Smith needs an Independence Day and MIB sequel more than those sequels need him.

      • Heyooo

    • The only movie (franchises) featuring Will Smith I care about are MIB and ID4. So if you won’t star in any sequels you virtually don’t exist anymore in my book. BTW: Your son should have done Karate Kid 2 two years ago instead of that awful After Earth…

      Mark my words…your careers don’t get any better by doing lame original movies instead of worthwhile sequels. While it may be true that sequels aren’t always on target, they’re still a lot more interesting than any pointless standalone stuff that doesn’t take off…

      It can be observed that people aren’t into any “fresh” stuff anyway, basically because any really good story can be told within an existing franchise whereas “new” stories often turn out to be pointless rip-offs in disguise. I’d rather watch ID4 Parts 2, 3, 4 and 5 instead of being served one alien invasion clone after another…

      I wouldn’t mind seeing SciFi / Fantasy being reduced to 20+ franchises going on forever, with new plotlines developing WITHIN the existing continuities. There is hardly any standalone SciFi flick that wouldn’t work within the worlds of Star Trek, Alien, ID4, Godzilla etc…

      Those copy-paste standalone flicks are a waste of money, time and continuity… Battleship, Battle L.A. or Pacific Rim could have easily taken place within one single franchise, thereby gaining relevance and cohesion…

      • He could probably do another bad boys movie if he was up for it.

      • That’s a good insight on sequels vs. original films. If the movie was popular, why wouldn’t fans want to see these characters again?

      • It is hard for me to agree. I wish someone had the cajones to make movies based on the countless possibilities available in all the great science fiction literature out there. There are multitudes of stories out there that put to shame a lot of the “original stuff we get fed nowadays.

        Just to name one example, there is the whole Known Space universe of stories by Larry Niven that could be used for years. Imagine Ringworld done as a movie..

        • I mean’t to mention Ender’s Game as an example of someone taking that kind of risk. I thought the movie was a fair version of the book. Not perfect of course. A lot of what Ender goes through is not shown, but I still thought the movie turned out good.

        • “I wish someone had the cajones to make movies based on the countless possibilities available in all the great science fiction literature out there. There are multitudes of stories out there that put to shame a lot of the “original stuff we get fed nowadays.”

          Yes and no. We agree that the “original stuff” we get today is largely derivated anyway so why bother… I also agree that there are gazillions of novels, games and stuff that could, if well done, be turned into very well received movies. BUT: to what end?

          This is where my very personal attitude diverges from critics: in my book, good standalone movies / adaptations are potential FIRST PARTS of new franchises! If there is something really good, profoundly fresh, really worthwhile…bring it on! But if it is is really that good…why not make sequels? If a fictional world is really that brilliant, original and selfcontained, there is no reason it couldn’t spwan lots of inspired sequels. If it isn’t that great…why bother?

          I profoundly believe that Hollywood’s true problem is reboots, not sequels! And I’m not talking about official reboots primarily, but those paint-by-number attempts at chashing in on viable trends. It’s basically an old story: Who needs Battle Beyond the Stars and Starcrash if there’s Star Wars? Who needs Eragon if there is Middle-earth? I consider it far more effective to elaborate on existing continuities than to line up one wanne-be xerox after another…

          Again…if it’s TRULY new and original, bring it on! There wouldn’t be any franchises if there hadn’t been any first parts to elaborate on. But instead of copying existing formulas ad nauseum, build coherent fictional words!

      • But Pacific Rim was amazing and deserved to be its own thing rather than existing within the world of another movie. I wouldn’t want to see Rocky cross over with Million Dollar Baby either.

    • “you don’t want to be the sequel guy”

      Why not? Sequels are the natural way of existence. Every new day in real life is a sequel to previous days. If actors have found their place in life, why moving on? I don’t get that hatred for sequels, prequels and franchises altogether. There is nothing wrong with playing Captain Kirk, Dracula or Luke Skywalker for the rest of your life. Afraid of being typecast? Nonesense… don’t be cast at all after filling in a really great role you can play for the rest of your life!

      You might argue playing one and the same character for 40 years is a waste of potential. I’d say otherwise. The complete opposite is the case! Wasting your career on smaller, one-time stints is an even greater waste… Sean Connery will always be 007, but who will remember him for his post-Bond roles? Shatner is Kirk, but will think of him as TJ Hooker or that grumpy lawyer? Playing one-time parts is definitely not the path to cinematic glory.

      It’s like monogamy. It may seem boring for some of us but in a way staying with one and the same role and franchise for decades is proof of fidelity, to the franchise, its fans and the spirit behind it. MIB might not be the ideal example, but you get the idea.

    • I guess that’s what having a facebook buddy by the name of Xenu will do to you sooner or later.

    • While I’m not a Tom Cruise fan MAINLY because of the scientology stuff, he was in fact in Tropic Thunder, in which he was not the star. Though, to be fair, he did kinda steal the show.

      • This is true.

        That whole “I will massacre you” speech is the funniest thing in an already hilarious movie. RDJ’s Chinese woman is a close second.

    • I think he believes he is all that and would want major contributions to any movies he’s in. He probably wants to write it, star in it, sing in it, suck in it, etc. To me he’s a has been. I’ll be waiting for a good review of a movie with him before I go to the theater to watch it. The last few were disappointments.

    • How about Will Smith in WEST WORLD Directed by Ridley Scott!

  3. They should just reboot MiB with new leads.

    • I thought MI:3 was actually pretty solid. Certainly blew 2 out of the water, but so does a blank screen.

      I could be cool with a MI sequel with Josh Brolin playing K in the past. They could actually do some interesting and funny stuff by tweaking actual historical events and figures. That Andy Warhol scene comes to mind.

      • I was thinking drop character J and K, they had their time, hollywoods…well one of hollywoods problems is clinging to old things(/formulas/plots/characters/actors) in the thought this will bring continued success in sequels, but what it really does is just drive things into the ground or rob things of their luster.

        Reboots and change ups are risky 50/50s but sometime it works well.

        Plus you could explore agents, L….M & N….Q….X & Y …Z.

  4. Just announced Will Smith and Family cast to Play the Fantastic Four in Fox’s reboot of the Franchise,……instead of a movie anyone would like to see him in.

  5. Will Smith lost some points when he became a scientologist…and forced his son upon us.

  6. Damn, Will Smith is really fading away. The last film I enjoyed him in was Men in Black 3 but even then, it was mostly Josh Brolin’s show for me. I hope he gets back on his feet because I really like the guy. Break your rule and do those sequels!

  7. Do we seriously need a Men In Black reboot? Count me out if Smith and Jones aren’t in it. I wasn’t likely to see Independence Day 2, it’s another unnecessary sequel, and if Smith isn’t in it, then I definitely won’t be seeing it.

    • Smith wasn’t even the star of ID though, Paxton and Goldblum were.

      Honestly, I’m still a fan of Jeff Goldblum so as long as he’s back, so am I.

      • Caught that Simpsons reference btw.” … Ably played by Bill Paxton— That’s Bill Pullman.” Classic!

    • I think you could say the same for the ‘Jurassic Park’ movies, to be honest I love dinosaurs (especially the mostly unknown ‘Pedrosaurus’! :)) but I think they’ve done enough with those.

      But if someone thinks it will make money then you can be damn sure it’s going to get made.

  8. Looks like After Earth really ruined Will Smith’s career. After that whole debacle, I’m not really enthusiastic about seeing him in much of anything.

  9. You have just titled the article:

    “Will Smith unlikely to be in anything you want to see.”

    Sorry to any of his fans, for you I know this is not true. For me it is though, his blatant nepotism and attempt to force us all to think highly of his somewhat lacking in talent children have soured me on the guy.

  10. If he has indeed decided not to return to the role…GREAT !!! He’s overrated; and he’s probably holding out for a big payday. they can find a better replacement. good riddance !!!

  11. don’t hate on Will for trying to open doors for his son…i’m sure your dad has told people you are great at what you do too.

    Just don’t support his son if you find him talentless, but you can’t deny Will is a great actor…regardless of his religious beliefs, which should not matter who he prays too

    • If scientology were a religion in any sense other than for tax purposes then your point would be valid. Scientologists don’t pray, they pay.

      • you could say that about a lot of religions

        • The only difference though is with real religions you get a lot of ideas for movies and TV out of them:

          The Omen (1, 2 and 3, plus a remake of 1)
          Angel Heart
          Raiders of The Lost Ark
          Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade
          The Seventh Sign
          The Exorcist
          The Devils Advocate
          The Ninth Gate
          Event Horizon

          And that’s just a few.

          • Dogma

            Also, couple of TV shows:

            Highway to Heaven
            Touched by An Angel

            • Battlefield: Earth!

              Oh, wait.

    • My dad telling people I am great is not the same as forcing the public to watch me act instead of the talented actor who would have had the role otherwise.

      You are right about what to do about it though. I will not pay any money to see any movie with Will, Jaden, or Willow Smith in it. I wont even watch them on TV and contribute to good ratings for the movie. Pirate or bust for all things Smnith these days.

  12. I might be wrong, but I expect Will Smith will change his mind and make Independence Day 2 after all.

  13. Right, guess he wants to pass on those projects so he can make more quality movies like After Earth, right? Give me a break…

  14. sick of will smith saying he doesn’t want to be the “sequel guy”. know what’s worse than being the sequel guy? being the “after earth” guy…*exits the internet*

  15. These movies should not be made. MIB3 is not good, so clearly 4 will be awful. I love Independence Day, but it does not need a sequel, especially without Will.

  16. IMO the actual concepts for these films are dated and irrelevant. Alien invasion/disaster movies are not in fashion anymore; elements from those films have already been absorbed and expanded upon in newer films. The MIB appeal was parodying the x files culture of the 90s. ID4 was one of the first films to offer large scale disaster with digital effects. Boring now.

  17. i would think ID 2 would be good fit for will smith, but he does not want to share, thats too bad.

  18. After Earth…..retirement?

  19. Jayden? Smith? A star…?

  20. I don’t get the bashing of Will Smith for not being a “sequel man”. Is he the only actor that doesn’t want to be known as such, Get off your high horses and quit trying to hang the man. What’s his religious belief got to do with his acting? A father shouldn’t try to open doors for his son cause of you guys? Man it’s horrible reading the nonsense some of you are throwing out there, every major star in Hollywood has had failures or done sh**y movies, does it mean the end? How many parents in Hollywood have thrown their kids in movies, that you all are sounding like Jayden is the one and only kid whose dad has done so. Wonder what kind of parents you guys would make. Good grief!

    About ID2 & MIB4, they could move on without Will as the article rightly said, MIB4 could go on with Josh Brolin or pick 2 new agents to tell a new story, how bout 20-40 years after Agent J and Q? That way you don’t need a Will or majority of the current cast.

    ID2 would definitely need a younger cast to be the key players since it’s not set right after the first movie. They already have a script without him, problem solved. He was a fighter jet pilot in the first movie, he could have crashed and died during the test run of the new jets designed to battle aliens.

    Instead of making it sound like Will is the only actor not appearing in sequels. Why not see this as an opportunity for a lesser know name to shine?

  21. Looking forward to the new star wars,I was 7 when it first started,i’ll be in my 50’s when they are done