Bill Pullman says Independence Day 2 could go with or without Smith

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Jan 22, 2013, 5:53 PM EST

The Independence Day sequel is trucking along, and the president's on board. Co-star Bill Pullman (President Whitmore) recently gave an update on the film's production, which should begin soon. He also chimed in on the status of Will Smith's return.

Pullman's on the press circuit promoting the NBC series 1600 Penn. On the show, he plays the president of the United States, which isn't a stretch. While at a party thrown by the Television Critics Association, Pullman was asked about director Roland Emmerich and producer Dean Devlin's schedule for Independence Day 2.

"Within a year, yeah, something like that I guess," Pullman said. "I worried about taking this part [on 1600 Penn] because it's heating up. I thought, 'I don't know if I should do the comedy' and I talked to Dean and Roland and they said, "No, do it. We'll work around it. If it goes, we'll work around it."

They're also open to working around Will Smith's schedule. His breakout role as Capt. Steven Hiller is synonymous with the original film. The actor's expressed interest in returning, but if he doesn't, they have a contingency plan.

"The Will Smith part of it may be ongoing but I think there's strategies for both. I like what I have to do in both of them. I'm not in an old age home in a wheelchair being wheeled out for one more moment. It's a very interesting conception of what happens to Whitmore between then and when it picks back up."

Do you think a sequel could work without Smith?

(via CraveOnline)