Will Smith is “too expensive” to star in Roland Emmerich’s upcoming sequel to Independence Day, the director has said.
The 1996 original was Smith’s first major blockbuster, but Emmerich said he was looking to make 2015’s Independence Day 2 with lesser-known actors.
“Will Smith cannot come back because he’s too expensive, but he’d also be too much of a marquee name,” he said.
“We have like maybe half of the people that you… would know from the first film [in the script] and the other half people who are new.”
Emmerich floated the idea of Independence Day sequels in 2011, when it was claimed that Will Smith wanted $50 million for a two-film deal.
Since then, Smith has starred in Men In Black 3 and the underperforming M Night Shyamalan movie After Earth.
The new Independence Day film has a firm release date of 3 July 2015 to tie in with what is traditionally a bumper box office frame over the 4 July holiday in the US.
But studio Fox has not yet given the green light to Independence Day 3, with The Day After Tomorrow director Emmerich suggesting that a second sequel would depend on the performance of Independence Day 2.
The film will have to compete in what is already looking to be a crowded summer schedule of blockbuster films. Already announced for 2015 are Disney’s Star Wars reboot, the second Avengers film and Pirates of the Caribbean 5.