It's been 15 years since Roland Emmerich famously blew up the White House in his $800 million blockbuster Independence Day, and now he and screenwriting partner Dean Devlin are planning two explosive sequels. But can they get Will Smith to punch more aliens in the face?
Negotiations to get Smith back on board for these flicks, which would be shot back to back and tell one massive story, have apparently been going on for a couple of years at this point, but Smith hasn't committed. FOX has been reluctant to meet his reported demand for a $50 million payout to star in the dual films, especially when Emmerich's fee is pretty hefty by itself, and negotiations were put on hold to give Emmerich and Devlin time to finish the scripts.
With the screenplays expected to be delivered to the studio sometime in December, Smith's involvement is still very up in the air. His last theatrical release was Seven Pounds three years ago, and he's only shot one movie since—Men in Black III—which won't hit theaters until next year. He used to crank out two flicks a year, but he's doing less in order to spend more time with his family.
But FOX could use this to their advantage. The idea of shooting the films back to back means less time away from home for Smith, and the only other project he's committed to at the moment—M. Night Shyamalan's One Thousand A.E., which he'll star in with his son Jaden—hasn't yet materialized into a full production schedule.
So, for now, it looks Smith could still hop on board, which would almost guarantee blockbuster status for both films. No plot details yet, for either film, but the idea seems to be two films that can be enjoyed separately but, when combined, tell one cohesive story (presumably) about stuff blowing up.
"They're intended to be fulfilling movies onto themselves—you could see each separately and enjoy them—but they tell one big story," an "insider" tells Vulture.
So, it looks ... let's say semi-promising. In any event, we can almost certainly count on Bill Pullman returning to lead our country to victory again, right?