20th Century Fox may be returning to the world of Independence Day for two sequels and has locked in super star Will Smith to reprise his role as Captain Steven Hiller.
Here’s a quick history: Fox CEO Tim Rothman said he was open to the idea two years ago — especially since the 1996 release made $306 million in the U.S. alone that year ($817.4M worldwide) — but it depended on whether or not director Roland Emmerich was interested.
Emmerich countered in October 2009, saying the notoriously cheap Fox (except Avatar, apparently) hadn’t found a way to incorporate Will Smith’s now $20 million salary (plus a gross percentage) into the big budget sequel. Instead Emmerich busied himself with destroying the world in several other ways, including global warming (The Day After Tomorrow) and the Mayan-predicted apocalypse (2012).
Now a tipster for IESB.net says Will Smith is “locked” for not only one sequel, but an Independence Day 2 and 3 possibly shooting back-to-back as early as 2011. I suppose it’s only fitting that Emmerich release another disaster movie in Summer 2012. If it happens, the production would follow Emmerich’s completion of the William Shakespeare thriller Anonymous and Smith’s next movie, which will either be The City That Sailed or Men in Black 3.
Emmerich has discussed this possibility before. In November 2009, he talked about how he (and co-writer Dean Devlin) wanted two more Independence Days as part of “a bigger arc” here on Earth. Emmerich even suggested the title ID4-Ever (Part I and Part II), which I think we all can agree is a terrible idea. Are people really excited for sequels 14 years later? Didn’t the first pretty well wrap things up?