Will Smith might be coming around for another go at Independence Day. *coughpointlessrehashingcough* What are they gonna call this one- Independence Day 2: More Independent? It’s looking like Roland Emmerich, who got a pretty stern talking to at our very own UC Berkeley for his latest Shakespearean endeavor Anonymous, is seeking to make not one, but two sequels! That’s right! Two! Why? I don’t know!
Fuck this movie. Seriously. Fuck the possibility of this movie. The first one was good, but really? Do we need another one, let alone two? They’re set up to be sequential, meaning they’ll tie into each other nicely, but what the fuck does that matter? Is that like a selling point, or something? Are they trying to convince us that they actually want to make a good story here, instead of just cashing in on almost-forgotten property?
Okay, I’ll step back. I gotta give every possible movie a chance, so I’m going in with an open mind. I like Emmerich’s work. I like his ridiculously blown-out-of-proportion action scenes. He’s like a refined, cleaner Michael Bay. Which actually makes him less of a draw for me, but we can get into that later. Anyway, this might be good. If they can get the writers they need, maybe this will work. But, which writers? Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci? Yeah, they’re good at doing shitty rehashes. What about Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio? The wonderful Pirates writers who only wrote one good screenplay? Fuggedaboutit! These guys are screwed! But forget writers, before they even start with those kinds of worries, they have to make sure they have their star in place!
You guessed it. Will Smith, it seems, is not officially signed on to the project. Sony Studios doesn’t want to pay him his exorbitant asking price of 50 million just to flash his pearly white teeth at the camera. Here’s the problem: they have to do it. They have to fork over the money if they want this movie to do any business. You don’t just restart a movie like this while the lead actor is still alive, fresh, and young enough to reprise the role, and not put him in it. Independence Day was a huge movie, and its success was due, in a very large part, to the fact that it had Will Smith as its star. He sold the movie. Without him it would have been Jeff Goldblum and some other people fighting some alien invaders. (I love Goldblum’s work, but his character was kind of boring in this movie. Haters can hate.) Will Smith caused that movie to shine brightly at the box office. He’s the one thing that stands out the most about it, to this day. If the studio doesn’t hire him, they don’t have a movie. They want it to be big in terms of revenue, and starting fresh with someone else, even if they’re well-known, won’t bring them the money they’re looking for.