Released on July 3, 1996 and starring Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman, it’s a bit of a surprise that the popular sci-fi flick has never seen a sequel. According to Emmerich, it’s not for lack of desire. To hear him tell it, in an interview with Latino Review, there’s a “very really good great story, a very cool one.”
So what’s the hold-up? Fox, from the sound of things. Emmerich and his screenwriting partner Dean Devlin refuse to consider returning to the story without Smith on board. It’s really best if you just read Emmerich’s words on the matter, so here you are:
“Dean Devlin and I are still set to make a sequel likely because we’ve found some sort of idea and we approached FOX and FOX has not quite figured out how to incorporate Dean’s and my deal, and Will’s (Smith) deal. Will wants to do it in some sort of a package they can live with. So it’s just been in [negotiations] now since forever, and naturally FOX says ’Why don’t you do it without Will Smith?’ I said Will is essential for us, for this movie and actually for the audience too. And, so, it’s in limbo and lately the studios are fighting. Like gross players, and Will is a gross player and is probably the only gross player right now who’s worth his gross. So we’ll see what happens. I would love to do it.”
And there you have it. Emmerich would “love to do it,” but Smith is a crucial piece of the puzzle. I can’t say I blame him. For one, the first movie was in many ways a breakout for the actor’s then-rising star. Sure, “Bad Boys” came before it, but “Independence” felt bigger in a lot of ways. What’s more, Smith is certainly his own superstar now, and his presence in any movie — particularly an event blockbuster such as “Independence Day” — is a big driver for ticket sales.
Do you think an “Independence Day” sequel is a good idea? Is Will Smith a necessity?