Who will welcome the aliens to Earth? It won’t be Will Smith apparently. A sequel to “Independence Day” has been kicking around for years and Will Smith’s participation in the sequel has been an uncertainty for just as long. Now it appears as if we have our definitive answer.
Deadline is reporting that Will Smith will not be returning to reprise his role of Captain Steven Hiller. According to Mike Fleming Jr., who wrote the article, Will Smith will have final discussions with director/producer Roland Emmerich in the near future. Fleming suggests that it’s possible things could change, but Will Smith seems set on not returning to the project.
The drama of whether or not Will Smith would return to the movie has been so influential on this project’s development that screenwriter James Vanderbilt has had to work on two different scripts. One uses Will Smith’s character as a central figure in the story while another is devoid of him entirely.
With a release date set for July 4th 2016, a concrete decision about Smith’s role in the film has to be made soon. This project has to start moving forward and that can’t be done if it’s split in two directions. Though the original film had a strong ensemble cast, there’s no doubt that Smith’s involvement in a sequel would have been a major draw for the general masses. The success of this sequel seems more uncertain now than ever before.