Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin are back together and finishing up scripts for not one, but two sequels to INDEPENDENCE DAY. Ever since their 1996 hit (800 million worldwide) people have wondered if they had a sequel was in the works, but they soon went their sepereate ways. Devlin's kept a lower profile, working on some tv shows and tv movies, while Emmerich has tried his best to blow up every single landmark in the world with his increasingly ridiculous films.
So it's good to see them working together on these back-to-back sequels (ID5 and ID6?), but there's just one hitch- Will Smith. Back in 2009 when they first tried to get these films off the ground Smith apparently sought $50 million to work on them both and Fox balked at it, especially in combination with Emmerich's own large salary demands.
“The delay wasn’t about whether they both wanted to make the movie,” explains one insider, “It had more to do with ‘Whose dick is bigger?’"
They took some time to regroup and put some finishing touches on the scripts but Fox is apparently ready to go forward on these movies without Will Smith.
Of course, you really don't have a movie without Smith, do you? It was the movie that made him a star, and he's synonymous with it. And that $50 million would certainly be a wise investment, because everyone and their mother would go see this flick. The one good thing for Fox is that Will Smith doesn't have anything in the works, and with the exception of MEN IN BLACK 3 he hasn't made any other films in the last three years, certainly increasing audience anticipation for him to star in another blockbuster. You know, one that doesn't involve suicide by jellyfish.
As for what the new INDEPENDENCE DAY films will be about, no one really knows. NY Mag is reporting that they will tell a single story but be more like BACK TO THE FUTURE PARTS 2 AND 3, where they're two movies that stand up on their own, rather than a single movie chopped in half like the two HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS flicks.
My one request to the producers? Bring back Jeff Goldblum. He's, ah, he's been, you see- he's been gone too long, ah.