Welcome, one and all to the never-ending circle of news that is the Independence Day sequel. With a release date set for 2016, we’ve been treated to a seemingly endless round of announcements, speculation and rumours about the blockbuster’s follow-up. The latest? It appears talks with Will Smith have led to a deal and he’s letting Roland Emmerich and co. know that he won’t be part of the film.
Of course, as Deadline reminds us, we’ve been here before: Smith was reportedly interested and then reportedly off the project more than once. But despite the fact that Independence Day helped make him a star, and the fact that he could use a big win following After Earth, he’s just not ready to return as Captain Steven Hiller.
Still, not all is lost. Emmerich and co-writer/producer Dean Devlin have been planning two versions of the new film, setting White House Down’s James Vanderbilt the task of writing two scripts, one that featured Smith’s cocky main man and one without. But both saw the resource-coveting aliens returning for a new assault on mankind, as we fight back with technology reverse-engineered from the ships that originally arrived.
For more from Emmerich about the sequel, take a listen to what he said when he popped into Empire’s Pod booth last year.