Fox May Shoot INDEPENDENCE DAY 2 & 3 Without Will Smith?

Studio expecting script to be turned in by mid-December for Roland Emmerich to film next year... with or without Will Smith.

Roland Emmerich releases the oddest movie of his career tomorrow with the William Shakespeare 'did or didn't he write those plays?' 17th century action thriller Anonymous, but before long you can be rest assured he will be finding new ways to destroy the Earth. Let's not forget this is the man who has thrown aliens (Independence Day), Godzilla, an ice age (The Day After Tomorrow) and a global cataclysm (2012) at it over the last 15 years and yet the World keeps coming back to fight another day. And for Emmerich's next movie, it looks like we might be going up against an old enemy... Vulture reports that the German born apocalyptic filmmaker is busy beavering away with screenwriting partner Dean Devlin on their long in development scripts for two sequels to Independence Day, the $800 million worldwide phenomenon that dawned a new age in blockbuster filmmaking and kicked off the film career of Will Smith. If all goes to plan Emmerich will be directing Independence Day 2 and 3 back-to-back next year as Earth comes under attack once again by beings from another world (probably from the same planet as the first ones but with more firepower). Though despite filming them together the two films won't be so closely intertwined and they will tell individual stories. We are told to think Back to the Future Parts II and III.
"They€™re intended to be fulfilling movies onto themselves €” you could see each separately and enjoy them €” but they tell one big story.€
When asked about the proposed sequels to his most famous film, Emmerich teased to The Lantern this week; "€œI€™d say hold tight. It€™s happening soon.€ 20th Century Fox have wanted to sequelize Independence Day almost immediately upon it's 1996 release but only really started getting serious about it in early 2009. However problems arose when Will Smith, perhaps the only bonafide and bankable action star left these days, suggested it would take $50 million ($25 million per film) to bring him back in the fold, Fox put their plans on hold.
€œThe delay wasn€™t about whether they both wanted to make the movie,€ explains one insider, €œIt had more to do with €˜Whose dick is bigger?€™"
Through Emmerich's persistence and a string of failures at the studio, Fox renewed interest earlier this year and the finished screenplay is due in around six weeks and if Will Smith is still quoting a high salary, Fox may yet make the films and even consider looking for a replacement. Despite being one of the last genuine movie stars on the planet these days he comes with huge baggage and the debacle that has been the filming of the latest Men in Black entry at Sony (due next summer after countless re-writes, delays, re-writes, delays, spirallingly expensive, re-writes, etc) is one big nightmare Fox are hoping to avoid. Though it's clear that is an option they want to avoid and they will put all their efforts into breaking Smith down from that unrealistic quote. Smith is said to be much more happy with the idea of two movies being shot together as it allows him to spend more time with his family and (surprise, surprise) he has apparently suggested the idea of using his real life children Jada and Willow Smith in the films. Right now Fox and Will Smith are waiting on reading that script over Christmas and if all parties can come to a deal, one of the most fun blockbusters of the 90's will be getting sequelized next year. If Smith does decide to do the film it will be at the expense of M.Night Shyamalan's €œOne Thousand A.E.€ whose pre-production is moving particularly slowly and Sony are cautious about doing any deals with Smith right now. As for Jeff Goldblum or Bill Pullman? I'm sure they'll be back for more alien invasion action. I remember one idea for the sequel revolving around Will Smith's character becoming President which Fox thought was apt in the short time after Barack Obama's Presidential win...
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Matt Holmes is the co-founder of What Culture, formerly known as Obsessed With Film. He has been blogging about pop culture and entertainment since 2006 and has written over 10,000 articles.