Will Smith Won't Be Back For Independence Day 2

For the past few months, the biggest question hanging over the upcoming sequel to Independence Day was whether or not Will Smith would be coming back to star as Captain Steven Hiller. Back in October, director Roland Emmerich admitted that the studio was actually developing two distinct versions of the script, one being prepped in case the actor decided to return, the other written just in case he said no. Now it looks like the final determination will be coming soon, and it's probably going to upset a number of fans of the original film.

Deadline is reporting that Smith is very close to officially announcing that he won't be coming back for Independence Day 2. The site says that nothing is set in stone yet, and that the actor "has been back and forth before on whether to make the movie," but apparently he is soon planning to talk with Emmerich and leave the Hiller character behind forever. Unfortunately, the report doesn't mention exactly why Smith is deciding to walk away from the potential franchise, but back in June the project's director said that the star was simply too expensive for the production, saying,

"Will Smith can not come back because he's too expensive, but he'd also be too much of a marquee name. It would be too much."

Right now the plan over at 20th Century Fox is to have Independence Day 2 ready for the July 4th weekend in 2016 - exactly 20 years after the original came out. The script, which is being written by The Amazing Spider-Man's James Vanderbilt, is reportedly set in a future where human's have worked to implement alien technology into their own lives. It's been said that the story will follow Hiller's stepson and that the aliens will be back on Earth responding to a distress call from the original invasion that took 20 years to travel through space and arrive at the alien home world. Bill Pullman is expected to come back as President Thomas J. Whitmore.

How do you feel about this news? Do you think that the film is worth making if Will Smith isn't involved, or do you think that the sequel could be just as good with a new cast of characters? Answer our poll, tell us what you think in the comments section, and enjoy the trailer for the original below.

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Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.