20th Century Fox made a huge announcement this week with the confirmation of a July 3, 2015 release date for ID Forever Part 1, the sequel to Independence Day. Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin will both return to the franchise, and have stated that characters from the first film would be returning as well. Speculation began immediately about whether Will Smith would return to the film series that made him a household name.
Emmerich ended the speculation during an interview with NY Daily News while promoting his latest, White House Down. “Will Smith cannot come back because he’s too expensive,” Emmerich stated, “but he’d also be too much of a marquee name. It would be too much.”
Although it’s not specified as to exactly who might return for the sequel, Emmerich confirms that a number of the original film’s characters appear in the script by Devlin and himself.
“We have like maybe half of the people that you would know from the first film,” he says, “and the other half are people who are new.”
Bill Pullman confirmed earlier this year that plans call for the return of his character, Thomas Whitmore, but no talent has been officially locked as of yet.
Independence Day was released in July of 1996 and grossed over $817 million in worldwide box office. Talks of a sequel began almost immediately; however, Emmerich and his writing partner and producer Dean Devlin did not want to be involved in a sequel unless they had a good story.
Source: 20th Century Fox and NY Daily News