[Update: Now come claims that Smith is NOT involved with the ID4 sequels]
Remember last fall when we learned Fox was stalling on an Independence Day sequel because of money? Well, it seems the studio's little Christmas release, Avatar, has made a few extra million dollars to be thrown around. And one of the places that money is set to go is in Will Smith's wallet for not one but two Independence Day sequels.
According to IESB via an uncorroborated tip, Fox plans to shoot the films back to back, though it's unclear how far apart they'll be released.
Still just a rumor at this point, the incentive is certainly there for Fox to finally move forward with this project. Smith, on the other hand, has around two thousand other projects to choose from, but maybe more of that Avatar profit is being thrown his way than he'd normally be offered. IESB's source claims these ID4 sequels might shoot as early as next year, with Smith -- who hasn't been in a movie since 2008's Seven Pounds -- slating them directly after whatever he appears in next.
Hopefully Smith's next project is The City That Sailed, because we don't need Men in Black 3 followed by Independence Day 2 and Independence Day 3. We'll be so sick of seeing Will Smith battle aliens by the middle of the second film that we'll be wishing for Wild Wild West 2 or even Eight Pounds instead. As for director Roland Emmerich, he'd tackle the ID4 sequels after his surprisingly non-disaster-related Shakespeare drama, Anonymous.
While I appreciate Emmerich's title suggestion of ID4-Ever from last November, I think some more appropriate names for the first sequel might be Independence Day: It's About Damn Time and Independence Day: Aw Hell No. Your preference for one or the other will depend on how you feel about a return to the property after 14 years.
Personally, I'm all for the former, but I'm disappointed with Emmerich's idea to pick up immediately after the first film. It's been a long time since ID4 hit theaters in 1996, and I think that lapse should be reflected on screen. If this means Thomas Whitmore is no longer President, then so be it (though surely some fans will argue for why he would've been given another three or four terms).
Also, after Scott Pilgrim vs. the World hits big (and TV's Parenthood keeps rising in popularity), everyone will want Mae Whitman returning as Whitmore's now-twenty-something daughter - am I right?
Update: Gossip Cop is now attempting to debunk IESB's story. The gossip site claims they have it from Will Smith's camp that the mega-star has nothing to do with any ID4 sequels.
I don't know enough about Gossip Cop to just up and take their word on something. I've also learned the hard way that reps for actors swat EVERY bit of "rumor" down until their clients' names are practically printed on a movie's posters. We here at Screen Rant will be taking the same stance we always do: could be true, could be false - that's why it's called a RUMOR.
We'll let you know what develops with this story.
If this rumor turns out to be true, we can maybe look forward to Independence Day 2: Welcome to Earth Again, But Who's the Man Again, Huh? on July 3, 2012 (best get out the way, Spider-Man reboot).
Update Source: Gossip Cop