Rumor: Will Smith On Board For Two Independence Day Sequels?

Back in November 2009, Roland Emmerich told MTV that not only are they developing an Independence Day sequel, but he hopes to film it as two-back-to-back movies.At the time I just thought he was throwing outrageous claims into the wind, seeing how far they may travel. Since the first film was realized in 1996, Will Smith has become one of Hollywood's biggest and most bankable movie stars (and now producer). What that means is that he costs big bucks, over $20 million plus a percentage of the first dollar gross. 20th Century Fox is notoriously cheap (except when James Cameron is somehow able to trick the studio into spending hundreds of millions to make billions). Emmerich even said as much in an interview with LatinoReview.

Well it appears like the situation has changed, Will Smith is aboard for two sequels, and the films will be shot back-to-back. This according to IESB, who has a notoriously good track record when it comes to Fox rumors, so its very possible. According to the report, Emmerich would go into production on ID4-2 / ID4-3 after his William Shakespeare thriller Anonymous when Smith is finished with either The City That Sailed or Men in Black 3 (whichever project the star chooses to tackle next).

Emmerich previously said that the reason for two movies is that he wants "to do a bigger [story] arc" which will "continue the story" and begin "twelve, thirteen, fourteen years" after the first one ended. Emmerich even floated a possible title for the new films: "ID4-Ever" followed by "Part I" and "Part II" Lets hope that much changes. The story would again be set on planet Earth, presumably mostly rebuilt since the last time we saw it, when a new invasion again threatens the world.

No other story details have been revealed, but I would assume that it wouldn't be an Independence Day sequel if most of the original characters didn't return. I wonder where Bill Pullman's President Thomas J. Whitmore might be a decade and a half later. Is he still in office? Who knows, America might've changed the law to extend the President's term of office. I'm sure a lot of things will be very different than the world we knew before. This would be an alien invasion movie set in a changed world, post 7-04 (remember, this is a world in which 9/11 never happened, and ID-4 is remembered as "THAT DAY").

I'm interested to see if this rumor takes off, and Fox greenlights the back-to-back productions. A couple Independence Day sequels could be fun, especially in 3D. For me, ID4 is the only one of Emmerich's disaster movies in which we actually care about the characters. I'm actually interested to see where they have been, and how they handle the next alien war.