For the past few months, the biggest question hanging over the upcoming sequel to Independence Day was whether or not Will Smith would be coming back to star as Captain Steven Hiller. Back in October, director Roland Emmerich admitted that the studio was actually developing two distinct versions of the script, one being prepped in case the actor decided to return, the other written just in case he said no. Now it looks like the final determination will be coming soon, and it's probably going to upset a number of fans of the original film.
Deadline is reporting that Smith is very close to officially announcing that he won't be coming back for Independence Day 2. The site says that nothing is set in stone yet, and that the actor "has been back and forth before on whether to make the movie," but apparently he is soon planning to talk with Emmerich and leave the Hiller character behind forever. Unfortunately, the report doesn't mention exactly why Smith is deciding to walk away from the potential franchise, but back in June the project's director said that the star was simply too expensive for the production, saying,
"Will Smith can not come back because he's too expensive, but he'd also be too much of a marquee name. It would be too much."
Right now the plan over at 20th Century Fox is to have Independence Day 2 ready for the July 4th weekend in 2016 - exactly 20 years after the original came out. The script, which is being written by The Amazing Spider-Man's James Vanderbilt, is reportedly set in a future where human's have worked to implement alien technology into their own lives. It's been said that the story will follow Hiller's stepson and that the aliens will be back on Earth responding to a distress call from the original invasion that took 20 years to travel through space and arrive at the alien home world. Bill Pullman is expected to come back as President Thomas J. Whitmore.