For years there’s been talk of sequels to Independence Day, which came closer to reality a few months ago when Fox set a release date for a follow-up to Roland Emmerich’s 1996 hit. However there was still no news on whether Will Smith would agree to return as Steven Hiller.
Over the years he’s both suggested he would and that he wouldn’t, as even after it appeared that Fox had decided to move forward, he still hadn’t made up his mind. Now Deadline reports that Smith has ‘pretty much decided’ he won’t be back and has informed 20th Century Fox of that fact.
That’s not the end of the movie though, as knowing Smith was undecided Roland Emmerich had screenwriter James Vanderbilt (White House Down) work on two versions of the script, one which centres on Will Smith’s character, and one that doesn’t (speculation is that it’ll move to his son instead). The director and Dean Devlin wrote the first draft of the script, before turning the writing duties over to Vanderbilt.
Apparently the actor’s decision is still not “set in stone,” but it’s looking unlikely he will be back, even though he could probably do with a big blockbuster, considering Men In Black 3 is his only major success since 2007.
The Independence Day sequel is currently set for release on July 1, 2016, almost exactly 20 years after the first movie.