Independence Day sequel almost didn't happen after Will Smith's rejection

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 4 June 2016
Will Smith

Will Smith

Director Roland Emmerich has admitted he felt "half-hearted" about making an 'Independence Day' sequel after Will Smith refused to sign on

Roland Emmerich felt "half-hearted" about making 'Independence Day: Resurgence' after Will Smith refused to sign on.

The 'Independence Day' director admitted it was a huge blow to his enthusiasm for the film, that the star of the 1996 hit blockbuster movie wasn't available for the sequel.

Recalling the time he and scriptwriter Dean Devlin pitched the script to Smith, who had just finished filming 'Men In Black 3' and was working on disaster movie 'After Earth', he said: "Dean and I originally wrote the script as a two-parter and we sent it to Will at the worst possible moment. By then, he was shooting 'After Earth' in Puerto Rico. And he called and said, 'Guys, I cannot do three science-fiction movies in a row.' That's the point where I thought, let's not do this movie. Friends said I should carry on, that the ideas were really great, but I carried on in a half-hearted way."

However, the director was given a boost when he found two scriptwriters who re-wrote the second half of the movie and made it about a generation of orphans who lost their parents in the first war.

He also realised he'd always had an urge to make a sequel to the film before he retired.

He told Empire magazine: "Maybe it's the fact that I'm turning 60 this year. I have a little feeling of 'Oh gosh' about it. I have a lot of crew members who are in this business because of 'Independence Day'... Finally, I just sort of said to myself, 'Well maybe before I retire I should really do this.'"

Meanwhile, the filmmaker thinks the simple plotline of earth defending itself and its previous victory in the sequel will be interesting enough to wow audiences.

Speaking about the pressure on the next generation, he explained: "Imagine, you've won the battle, but you were quite lucky. And now what you have to do is figure out how defend your victory. It's a simple idea but it's super complicated in the way it's told.

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