It seems that "Independence Day" sequel will have to be made without Will Smith, Deadline learns. After going back and forth for a while, the actor reportedly decides he won't reprise his role as Captain Steven Hiller in the upcoming "ID Forever Part 1".
It doesn't mean that the sequel won't be made because Roland Emmerich already said he would take on the follow-up story with or without Smith. The director wrote two scripts in advance. One features the return of Captain Hiller and the other doesn't.
The plotline is still scarce, but a sort of pass-the-torch storyline with the main focus on the step-son of Smith's character was reportedly written for the next film. Michael B. Jordan ("Chronicle", "That Awkward Moment") is rumored in talks to play the lead role.
There is no official word on why the "After Earth" actor turned down the sequel, but rumor suggests it's difficult to bring him back to the franchise due to budget issues. Emmerich himself said tackling the project was "a daily battle." "The budget, the schedules, the actors ...," he uttered, before adding, "It's looking good."
Smith previously turned down the title role in Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained" because he felt the character he was offered was not the lead. "Django wasn't the lead, so it was like, I need to be the lead. The other character was the lead!" he reasoned.
Jamie Foxx was eventually tapped to play Django and he was promoted as the lead at the Academy Awards, while Christoph Waltz who played Django's sidekick was considered a supporting actor.
The second "Independence Day" movie was initially set for July 3, 2015, but has now been moved back to July 1, 2016.