Will Smith will not appear in ID Forever: Part I, the sequel to Independence Day, because he is too expensive, says director Roland Emmerich. “Will Smith can not come back because he's too expensive, but he'd also be too much of a marquee name,” he told the New York Daily News. “It would be too much.”

In 2011, it was reported that Smith was asking for $50 million for the second and third installments of the Independence Day trilogy. Twentieth Century Fox declined to pay the steep salary, and prepared to film without the actor.

Even though Smith will not be returning, other original stars will, including Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman, Emmerich confirmed. There will also be several new actors joining the cast, as the second and third films will focus on the new generation of heroes. The films will take place 20 years after the original film, catching the franchise up to present day. Emmerich also suggested that though Smith will not return to star in the movie, he hopes the actor will at least make a cameo, especially since his character’s stepson is poised to take a central role in the films.

Emmerich also noted the two follow-up films would be “totally unusual” and not a reboot of the original. Though he wouldn’t give specific details, he did divulge one tidbit. “I think some aliens will be back,” he said, laughing.


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ID Forever: Part I is due in theaters July 3, 2015. The third movie, titled ID Forever: Part II will be filmed back-to-back with the sequel. There is no release date for the third installment.

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