Two Independence Day Sequels In The Works; Will Smith Wants $50 Million
Independence Day came out fifteen years ago in a vastly different America. Director Roland Emmerich hadn’t yet made destroying national landmarks his cinematic signature; the U.S. could believably lead an international coalition in a successful, brief war; and Will Smith was just ending his run as the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, still over a decade away from being the most powerful man in Hollywood; and the movie industry was going strong, with DVDs just a year old and Netflix not yet born.
But all that has changed, and Fox may be longing for the good old days. Culture Vulture reports that Emmerich is “putting the finishing touches” on scripts and deals for two back-to-back ID sequels, and Fox has been working on luring in Smith since 2009. But his massive price tag, combined with Emmerich’s own hefty salary, are stretching the budget thin.
If you think Fox could easily brush aside Smith for another cheaper star, CV provides a fascinating description of just how valuable Smith is to Hollywood. They point out that in only five films, Smith’s movies earned $2 billion from 2005-2008. And while high-budget action movies are always made, few stars have the drawing power of Smith. Therefore, his relative absence from movies over the last few years could theoretically have cost the studios millions.
Smith may be nervous about big-budget negotiations after the recently-filmed Men In Black III became a public nightmare of production problems. Also, Smith has reportedly wanted to spend more time with his family, something he has in common with his ID character, Capt. Stephen Hiller:
What do you think? Can Smith work out a deal, or should some else lead the franchise?