According to Deadline, Emmerich and co-writer and producer Dean Devil will have to take on the aliens and save Earth, without Will Smith. He has informed 20th Century Fox he won’t be joining the sequel, which is scheduled for a July 1, 2016 release. That date marks the 20th anniversary of the 1996 original, which went on to gross $817.4 million worldwide.
There was some hope late last year that Will Smith would reprise his role of Captain Steven Hiller. They add that there may be a chance Smith changes his mind, as he has done so multiple times already.
But were told:
“he’s pretty much decided.”
You may remember though that Emmerich and Devlin wrote two different versions of the movie, one with Smith and one without him. James Vanderbilt (The Amazing Spider-Man) has since been working on the two different scripts.
Emmerich previously confirmed that about half of the original film’s characters will appear in the film. Independence Day also starred Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Randy Quaid, Mary McDonnell, Brent Spiner, James Duval and Vivica A. Fox.
They also go on to say that Smith is also not expected to reprise his role as Jay in the next Men In Black either, as Sony Pictures works on a reboot of that franchise. It seems it’s hard for the studio to turn a profit, since they pay the principals so much money.