Shooting back-to-back sequels seems to be the new hotness in Hollywood – with everything from the new Mad Max films to potential Transformers sequels looking to go into production at the same time. Now, we can add one more high profile franchise to that list: Independence Day.
Vulture is reporting that Fox wants to film two new sequels to the 1996 alien invasion film at the same time, with Roland Emmerich back to blow up whatever national monuments he hasn’t destroyed already. Fox also wants Will Smith back to star in both films, but contract negotiations between the Fresh Prince and Fox have been at least somewhat contentious – to the point where Fox is now saying they’ll move forward without the actor if they can’t reach an acceptable price for his participation.
Contract negotiations for Smith’s return have been ongoing since 2009, but Fox has balked at the actor’s $50 million dollar price tag for the two movies. Sources say that part of the problem is that Fox is already planning to shell out more cash than it wants for Roland Emmerich to return to direct, and paying Smith’s fee on top of that is exorbitant in their eyes.
In Smith’s defense, his asking price isn’t all that out of line. $25 million per film for an actor who’s one of Hollywood’s last remaining bankable action stars seems pretty fair. It seems even fairer when you realize that Smith films released from 2005 to 2008 earned over $2 billion dollars at the box office. What’s $50 million in light of that?
Both sides gave up on the contract talks while the scripts for the two films were hammered out, but with both screenplays due at Fox by December at the latest, it seems like the dialogue between the actor and the studio is set to once again heat up.
As far as the films themselves go, details are being kept under wraps – but sources are saying the sequels will be “sequential” rather than something like the recent Harry Potter movies, where the studio took a film and chopped it in half and made it two movies. The goal is that the Independence Day sequels will tell an overarching story, but that each installment will be enjoyable on its own without having viewed its counterpart.
What do you think? Are you up for another alien invasion flick? It’s been 15 years since Emmerich and Will Smith kicked alien ass, which is like a century in terms of Hollywood (seriously, we’re amazed they’re not just remaking Independence Day at this point). If Will Smith isn’t back, would you still see it? Let us know in the comment section.