Will Smith not Returning for Independence Day 2. The Independence Day 2 (2015) casting decision on Will Smith answers the question of whether or not the Independence Day star would reprise his role in the Roland Emmerich directed film. It has been speculated that if a ID4 sequel were to happen the first question to be answered was that of Will Smith’s participation.
In a recent interview, Roland Emmerich answered that question:
“Will Smith can not come back because he’s too expensive, but he’d also be too much of a marquee name,” he said. “It would be too much.”
On other Independence Day stars reprising their roles:
“We have like maybe half of the people that you know would know from the first film (in the script) and the other half people who are new,” he said. “I think some aliens will be back.”
On the first Independence Day:
Independence Day is a 1996 American military science fiction film about an alien invasion of Earth. The narrative focuses on a disparate group of people who converge in the Nevada desert and, along with the rest of the human population, participate in a last-chance counterattack on July 4, the same date as the Independence Day holiday in the United States. It was directed by German director Roland Emmerich, who co-wrote the script with producer Dean Devlin.
While promoting Stargate in Europe, Emmerich came up with the idea for the film when fielding a question about his own belief in the existence of alien life. He and Devlin decided to incorporate a large-scale attack when noticing that aliens in most invasion films travel long distances in outer space only to remain hidden when reaching Earth. Principal photography for the film began in July 1995 in New York City, and the film was officially completed on June 20, 1996.
The film was scheduled for release on July 3, 1996, but due to its high level of anticipation, many theaters began showing it on the evening of July 2, 1996, the same day the story of the film begins. The film’s combined domestic and international box office gross is $816,969,268, which at one point was the second-highest worldwide gross of all-time. It is currently the 38th-highest-grossing film of all time and was at the forefront of the large-scale disaster film and science fiction resurgences of the mid-to-late-1990s. It won the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, and was also nominated for Best Sound Mixing.
On the first Independence Day‘s cast and characters:
Will Smith as Captain Steven Hiller: An assured U.S. Marine Corps F/A-18 pilot with VMFA-314. Devlin and Emmerich had always envisioned an African-American for the role, and specifically wanted Smith after seeing his performance in Six Degrees of Separation.
Jeff Goldblum as David Levinson: An MIT-educated computer expert, chess enthusiast and environmentalist, working as a satellite technician in New York City.
Bill Pullman as President Thomas J. Whitmore: President of the United States and a former Persian Gulf War fighter pilot. To prepare for the role, Pullman read Bob Woodward’s The Commanders and watched the documentary film The War Room.
Margaret Colin as Constance Spano: White House Communications Director, David’s ex-wife.
Robert Loggia as General William Grey: A U.S. Marine Corps general who is the head of U.S. Space Command. Loggia modeled the character after generals of World War II, particularly George S. Patton.
Randy Quaid as Russell Casse: A widowed, alcoholic crop duster and veteran Vietnam War pilot who claims to have been an alien abductee ten years prior to the film’s events.
James Duval as Miguel Casse, Russell’s eldest son. Originally derisive of Russell because of his alcoholism, he changes his mind once he sees Russell showing true concern for his children.
Judd Hirsch as Julius Levinson: David’s father. The character was based on one of producer Dean Devlin’s uncles.
Mary McDonnell as First Lady Marilyn Whitmore.
Vivica A. Fox as Jasmine Dubrow: A single mother, Steven’s girlfriend (later wife), and exotic dancer.
James Rebhorn as Albert Nimzicki: The U.S. Secretary of Defense and former director of the CIA. Rebhorn described the character as being much like Oliver North. The character’s eventual firing lampoons Joe Nimziki, MGM’s head of advertising and reportedly accounted for unpleasant experiences for Devlin and Emmerich when studio executives forced recuts of Stargate.
Harvey Fierstein as Marty Gilbert: David’s boss.
Adam Baldwin as Major Mitchell: A U.S. Air Force officer who is Area 51?s commanding officer.
Brent Spiner as Dr. Brackish Okun: The unkempt and highly excitable scientist in charge of research at Area 51. Devlin, who is open to the idea of bringing Dr. Okun back in the event of a sequel, later implied the character is merely in a coma. The character’s appearance and verbal style are based upon those of visual effects supervisor Jeffrey A. Okun, with whom Emmerich had worked on Stargate.
Harry Connick, Jr. as Captain Jimmy Wilder: Steve’s best friend and fellow pilot. Connick took over the part for Matthew Perry, originally cast in the role.
Kiersten Warren as Tiffany: Jasmine’s exotic dancer friend.
Mae Whitman as Patricia, the President’s daughter. She is called ‘Munchkin’ by her parents.
Frank Welker as Alien vocal effects
We previously published these Independence Day 2 articles:
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