Will Smith is “back in talks” to star in a sequel to 1996’s Independence Day, according to Roland Emmerich.
In an interview with Digital Spy, Emmerich said it is an “enormous undertaking” to put a sequel of that magnitude together, and that Smith’s involvement hasn’t exactly been guaranteed.
“I sometimes say no, Will Smith will not be in it because he didn’t want to do it at first,” the German director said. “Now we have a meeting planned, we want to talk about it again. Anything can happen.”
Emmerich also said he was planning to make the sequel for 2015 or 2016, but right now it looks like the film would be coming out in 2016.
It was less than three months ago that Emmerich said Smith would not be returning for the sequel because he would cost too much.
“Will Smith cannot come back because he’s too expensive, but he’d also be too much of a marquee name,” he said. “It would be too much. We have maybe half of the people that you would know from the first film, and the other half people who are new.”
Bill Pullman, who played President Thomas J. Whitmore in the original film, confirmed his involvement in the sequel, which he said could start filming within the next year.
“Within a year, yeah, something like that I guess,” Pullman said in an interview with Crave Online in January. “I worried about taking this part because it’s heating up. I thought, ‘I don’t know if I should do the comedy’ and I talked to Dean [Devlin] and Roland [Emmerich] and they said, “No, do it. We’ll work around it. If it goes, we’ll work around it.”
At the time, Pullman was playing President Standrich Dale Gilchrist on the NBC comedy 1600 Penn. The series was canceled after one season.
Pullman also said there were two versions of the story for the sequel — one with Smith, and the other without him.
“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,” he said. “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.“