The film's star won't return for the sequel because he is just too damn expensive
Since his last performance in Independence Day, Will Smith’s stock has risen so high that a return performance is out of the question due to the Fresh Prince of Bel Air’s price tag – it’s just too high.
“Will Smith cannot come back because he’s too expensive, but he’d also be too much of a marquee name,” Roland Emmerich, the director of the original and the sequel, said. Will Smith apparently wanted $50 million for a two-film deal when the idea of the film was first floated his way. That kind of star power is only good for terribly written, gimmicky father-and-son films, duh!
“We have like maybe half of the people that you… would know from the first film [in the script] and the other half people who are new,” he added. It was announced last week that the sequel to the 1996 hit has a planned release date of July 3, 2015, the best part of 20 years after the original. There's still no official word on whether Bill Pullman or the always excellent Jeff Goldblum will be back or not.
Independence Day was a smash hit when it arrived back in 1996. It saw an unlikely hero – Will Smith – fight against an alien invasion, and those aliens didn’t come in peace (it was a Roland Emmerich film after all). It grabbed over $300m in American cinemas, and $800m in international markets, which, with a production budget of little over $75m, was a huge success.
Family Man - Will Smith and his closest few at the After Earth premiere
You can't afford me - Will Smith is too expensive for most