Roland Emmerich is making a sequel to his smash-hit alien invasion blockbuster Independence Day (almost twenty years later, but who's counting?), which may wind up being titled either ID Forever or just Independence Day 2. The story will pick-up in real time after the first installment, when the rest of the unfriendly extraterrestrial army - which has been traveling by wormhole since 1996 - makes its way to Earth, only to discover that humanity has managed to harness the aliens' technology in their absence.
Emmerich has estimated that half of the Independence Day sequel's cast will be composed of new actor and actress additions, but is still planning to include appearances from returning players such as fan-favorite Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Judd Hirsch and maybe even Brent Spiner (perhaps the alien tech has special healing capabilities?). However, until now, it seemed as though Will "Welcome to Earth!" Smith would not be reprising as hotshot pilot Steven Hiller.
Digital Spy recently interviewed Emmerich during the promotional tour for White House Down, which opens in UK theaters on Friday next week (September 13th). The filmmaker had previously revealed that Smith won't be getting top billing in the Independence Day sequel, mostly because he's such a big A-lister now that he might overshadow the larger cast (recall that the original movie is very much an ensemble piece like most of Emmerich's blockbusters). However, he never ruled out a small part for Big Will and is now saying that (if nothing else) "Now we have a meeting planned, we want to talk about it again. Anything can happen."
Smith, for his part, has taken steps to move away from tentpole fare in the future, as evidenced by him committing to upcoming projects like Winter's Tale and the lower-budgeted Focus; that is, while also keeping his distance from slow-developing sequels like Bad Boys 3 and I Am Legend 2 (assuming you can wrap you brain around the latter happening).
However, that doesn't rule out the possibility that Smith is open to playing a smaller part in the Independence Day sequel, especially if his role largely amounts to a passing of the torch to a younger character (maybe the grown-up version of his adopted son, played by Ross Bagley in the original film). He could even serve in a capacity similar to his part in M. Night Shyamalan's sci-fi adventure After Earth; in fact, Smith's performance as a decorated, stoic and battle-hardened warrior was one of the best things about that otherwise-disappointing film.
As for the Independence Day sequel's release date: 20th Century Fox has slated it for Summer 2015, but Emmerich told Digital Spy that he thinks a 2016 release is more likely (right now anyway). ID4 - 2 is currently sandwiched between Terminator 5 and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales on the release schedule, so it wouldn't come as a real shock if the studio delayed the film by a year (aligning with the twentieth anniversary of the original Independence Day no less).
Do you want Will Smith to return for the Independence Day sequel? If so, would you prefer he play a larger or smaller role in the film?
Independence Day 2/ID Forever is scheduled to open in theaters on July 3rd, 2015. We shall let you know if that changes.
Source: Digital Spy