Will Smith is simply "too expensive" to star in Independence Day 2.
Roland Emmerich and the folks at 20th Century Fox are currently putting together a sequel to the big-budget alien invasion movie from 1996. Unfortunately for fans of the original, star Will Smith won't reprise his role as Captain Steven Hiller.
However, this doesn't mean Emmerich and company aren't entirely against having Will Smith return for Independence Day 2. According to Worst Previews, the only thing standing in their way is the size of the actor's paycheck and his celebrity status. After all, he makes a little bit more than he did in the 90s.
Director Roland Emmerich is currently doing the promotional circuit for his upcoming action flick White House Down starring Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx. During his chat with the New York Daily News, the filmmaker revealed Will Smith's price tag was just too high for the sequel.
"Will Smith cannot come back because he's too expensive. But he'd also be too much of a marquee name. It would be too much," Emmerich explained to the website.
The director continued, "We have like maybe half of the people that you would know from the first film. And the other half are people who are new."
The Inquisitr previously reported Independence Day 2 will arrive in theaters on July 3, 2015. While Will Smith won't return for the follow-up, it's currently believed both Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman will play a role in the film.
However, Roland Emmerich stated the sequels would follow the adventures of several new characters. He also mentioned Independence Day 2 would end with a cliffhanger that paved the way for the inevitable Independence Day 3. A release date for the third installment hasn't been announced.
If Smith's box office performance continues to head in its current direct, the actor's asking price could start to drop. The Hancock star's most recent release, director M. Night Shyamalan's After Earth, failed to find an audience at the box office. Box Office Mojo reports the $130 million sci-fi flick has only generated $57 million in North America as of this writing.
Are you disappointed Will Smith won't be returning for Independence Day 2?