It’s official Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman are back for the Independence Day Sequel – imaginatively named Independence Day 2. Will Smith, however, is too expensive, so he can’t come out to play.

Will SmithWill Smith and his son Jaden star in After Earth, which was so bad

Pullman played President Thomas J Whitmore, while Goldblum appeared as a geeky computer expert called David Levinson, and both characters will be returning to reprise those roles. Perhaps, with Smith rules out, Goldblum could prove to be an unlikely hero in this one. It might just not work though; Smith was a brilliant hero in the original 1996 film, and launched his Hollywood career off the back of it. So high was his launch, though, that his $50m 2-year deal request proved a little too steep.

Bill PullmanPullman isn't too expensive to return

“Will Smith cannot come back because he’s too expensive. But he’d also be too much of a marquee name. It would be too much.” Director Roland Emmerich added: ‘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.”

Jerry O ConnellJerry O'Connell isn't too expensive either

Emmerich wrote the original Independence Day with Dean Devlin, who is said to be co-penning the script for the sequel. Hopes for a Smith appearance aren’t totally dashed, though. Emmerich is hoping for him to make a small cameo so that he can "pass the torch" onto a new generation of actors, and perhaps herald the start of an independence day trilogy.