Briefly: With or without Will Smith, a sequel to Independence Day is happening. For obvious reasons, director Roland Emmerich and producer Dean Devlin were hoping the mega-star would choose to return to the franchise that helped launch his career. Smith originally said he wouldn’t be in the film, then backed off that statement. Fox hired James Vanderbilt to write two independent scripts - one with Smith’s character and the other without.
Deadline now reports Smith has “pretty much decided” he’s not going to do the movie. Never say never but, the smart money is the version of the film without the character (perhaps focused on his son?) will forward.
Independence Day 2 will blow up theaters July 1, 2016.
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Briefly: In Selling Time, a man is given the opportunity to relive the worst day of life in exchange for giving up seven years of his life. Will Smith has been circling the 20th Century Fox thriller for a long time, and the project just gained some new momentum as D.J. Caruso has signed to direct. Caruso, the director of Suburbia and Eagle Eye, will also oversee a new draft of the script by original writer Dan McDermott. Read more about the film’s history here. [Deadline]
Briefly: People have wondered for years why all involved haven’t pulled the trigger on Bad Boys 3 — it seems like such an obvious move in a studio culture that is all about sequels. But this one has, in the past, required the willingness of two stars and a director. That complicates the process.
Now that there’s been a little power structure change at Sony, installing Michael De Luca as production co-president with a mandate to up the quality of the studio’s tentpole films, it looks like that sequel will happen. A writer is almost signed, but that’s just the first step in the process. Read more below. Read More »
Two of the biggest stars in the world are attached. A high-profile comedy director wants to make it his next film. There’s just one thing in the way – that pesky script. That seems to be the case with Uptown Saturday Night, a remake of the 1974 Sidney Poitier film starring Poitier and Bill Cosby. Adam McKay (Anchorman, Step Brothers) wants to make the film his next movie, and he’s got Will Smith and Denzel Washington set to play the lead roles. Now, in hopes to jump start the project to film next year, Warner Bros. has hired Nicholas Stoller (The Muppets, The Five-Year Engagement, Forgetting Sarah Marshall) to rewrite the script. Read More »
Though film fans are well-versed in Chan-wook Park’s 2003 film Oldboy, most audiences have no idea what the film is. To 90% of people who go to the movies, it’s nothing more than an ultra-violent, ten-year-old foreign language film with subtitles, if they even know that much about it. At least, that’s what Filmdistrict is thinking will be the case when Spike Lee‘s remake of Oldboy opens November 22. They’re hoping audiences will be as surprised and entertained as we were the first time we saw the original.
Still, everyone involved is well aware film fans can be vocal when reacting to remakes, and no one is a bigger champion of the original than screenwriter Mark Protosevich. The writer of the original Thor and I Am Legend considers himself a massive fan of the original film. And when he first heard about the remake, he was hesitant. Then Will Smith approached him about writing it for director Steven Spielberg. What fan would say “No” to that?
Below, read about Protosevich’s dealings with those two superstars and his justifications for remaking one of the biggest cult classics of all time. Read More »
Movies set at sea seem to be a new big thing, and now Will Smith is going to sail New York City across the Atlantic Ocean. He’ll star in The City That Sailed for Night at the Museum director Shawn Levy.
The film is one that Smith was considering a few years ago, before he committed to Men in Black III. And this isn’t the first time that Smith and Levy have been connected through a project — the director was going to helm the Fantastic Voyage remake for Fox in 2011, and wanted Smith to star in that. The deal never went through, however.
But Smith’s company Overbrook Entertainment is actively developing The City That Sailed again, and Smith has committed to star.
Read More »
As the world waits to find out if Will Smith will appear in Independence Day sequels or not, the actor is now attached to another sci-fi concept. It’s called Selling Time, and it follows a man who is given the opportunity to relive the worst day of life in exchange for seven years of his life. The script was written by Dan McDermott, but several others – including Spike Lee – have taken a pass since. No director is attached, but reportedly several A-listers are now interested in the 20th Century Fox property. Read More »
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Given the choice between making a movie with Will Smith and making one without him, a major studio will almost always choose Smith. That’s especially the case for a film with a major budget, and if the film in question is one which is a sequel to another Smith film, then it really isn’t even a question any longer.
But what if Smith is unwilling to commit?
Roland Emmerich has been developing a couple of Independence Day sequels, possibly called ID Forever parts I and II, for a little while now, but the real go-ahead point will come when Smith definitively commits, or turns town the project. To be ready for that moment, there are actually two written scripts right now — one has a role for Smith, the other does not. Which one will be shot? Read More »