Who could forget the moment in 1996’s Independence Day when the frustrated Captain Stephen Hiller (played by Will Smith), stranded in the desert with an alien, greeted it with a punch in the face saying, “Welcome to Earth.”
Or the moment Hiller and David Levinson (played Jeff Goldblum) flew into outer space on a spacecraft with Hiller screaming, “Wooh! I have got to get me one of these!”
Independence Day is Will Smith’s highest grossing movie domestically (it earned $306.2 million), and established him as box-office draw.
Now with talk about two back-to-back sequels to Independence Day in development, fans of the original film are asking: Is Will Smith going to return?
20th Century Fox is reportedly started to craft a deal in 2009 with the bankable Will Smith, who is asking for $25 million to shoot each film. The large request as well as Emmerich’s salary demand caused Fox to hesitate on the project. One insider stated: “The delay wasn’t about whether both wanted to make a movie, it had more to with whose d**k is bigger.”
It has been fifteen years since director Roland Emmerich and producer and screenwriter Dean Devlin brought the first disaster picture to the big screen, and today, according to New York magazine, both men are ”>“putting the final touches” on the sequels’ scripts.
Smith reportedly finds the project appealing. However, there is still no confirmation on the deal with Smith, and now the main focus of the project is ensuring that the scripts, scheduled to be delivered to Fox December 2011, for the movie are right.
According to Film-News, insiders said that Fox is willing to make the movies without Will, if necessary, it’s complicated because where and how [Smith] wants to shoot; he wants to be close to home, to the kids.” There have also been comments from Smith stating he wants to include Jada and possibly his daughter Willow in the movie.
From the 1992 to 2008 Smith starred in nineteen films, most of which have achieved blockbuster status. Since then, Smith has been on a three-year hiatus in which he spent time producing films for his son Jaden (The Karate Kid), as well as focusing on his daughter Willow’s music and now movie career. Smith is currently working on a sequel to Men In Black III, which will be released next year.
According to the New York Post, Smith received negative criticism from the residents of New York City for docking a 53-foot long trailer during the shooting of the film. One resident complained, “How would Will Smith feel if I parked that thing out in front of his house? People forget this is a residential neighborhood, not a film lot — that thing is taking up half our gasoline reserve.”
As for the new Independence Day movies an insider commented saying, ”[Fox] want the story straight, and want Will to sign off on it, totally, before they proceed.”