Devlin wrote ID4 sequel, didn't like it, returned his paycheck

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Dec 17, 2012, 3:27 PM EST

We'd heard a while back that Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich are finally ramping up to make a sequel to Independence Day. But did you know Devlin already wrote one?

While making the rounds at the Saturn Awards, Devlin was asked how things are going with the Independence Day sequel, and he revealed that the new script isn't the first one he's written to follow up the 1990s blockbuster about an alien invasion. He said that script was "okay," but not worthy to be called a sequel to the original. So he gave back his gigantic paycheck and had the project shelved.

He tells Collider:

"Many years ago, I was actually hired to write the sequel to Independence Day. And I wrote a sequel. And they paid me a boatload of money to go write this thing. And after I wrote it, I read it and I gave them back the money and I said, 'look, this is an okay movie I just wrote. But it's not worthy of the sequel to Independence Day.' And I literally gave back the money. And afterwards I said, 'You know what? I'm not even going to try anymore.' And it was only about a year-and-a-half ago that Roland called me up and said, 'We should try again.'"
Though he kept most of the story details under wraps, Devlin did let slip that the sequel is set in real time, 16 years after the original film. So definitely not any type of reboot.

Devlin shot down a question as to whether original star Will Smith will be coming back, but it'd be a risky move to try and mount this project without his star power behind it.

Check out the full interview below:

What do you think about ID4 2? Are you glad Devlin waited this long to make it, or do you wish they'd done a sequel years ago?

(Via Collider)