Our own Mike Ryan, while reviewing Roland Emmerich’s Independence Day: Resurgence in 2016, declared, “My goodness, this sequel is really missing The Fresh Prince.” Ryan was speaking, of course, of the absent Will Smith, who entered the first movie as a sitcom star and 50% of a rap duo, with both descriptors being very Fresh and Prince-y in nature. The 1996 disaster film made Smith a full-blown star, and 20 years later, Emmerich wished to revisit the franchise and basically make the same movie.
That’s what the The Day After Tomorrow director told Yahoo Movies, at least, and Emmerich’s reliance upon Smith seemed to point toward success, until Smith pulled out to portray Deadshot in David Ayer’s Suicide Squad, and Emmerich’s sequel then went into literal disaster mode. That meant a new star, Liam Hemsworth (who is fine but no Will Smith), and a pasted-together new script. In retrospect, Emmerich says that not altogether pulling the plug on the sequel leaves him with regrets:
“I just wanted to make a movie exactly like the first, but then in the middle of production Will (Smith) opted out because he wanted to do Suicide Squad.
“I should have stopped making the movie because we had a much better script. After I had to, really fast, cobble another script together. And I should have just said ‘no,’ because all of a sudden I was making something I criticized myself, a sequel.”
Yes, Liam Hemsworth peeing on an alien while flipping the bird is no match for Smith kicking an alien while wisecracking, “I could’ve been at a barbecue!” Live and learn, you know? Meanwhile, Emmerich’s promoting Midway — his WWII movie that contains enough explosions to make Michael Bay weep and stars Nick Jonas, Woody Harrelson, Dennis Quaid, Patrick Wilson and more — for a November 8 release. No word on whether this movie’s script is better than that of Resurgence, but at least it’s not a sequel missing its intended star.
Oh, and the still Will Smith-less The Suicide Squad is cruising along for a summer 2021 arrival in theaters. Smith might regret skipping out on James Gunn’s relaunch after Gemini Man went largely unnoticed last month in theaters, but he certainly doesn’t regret leaving Resurgence, which wasn’t a financial success by any stretch. And finally, Smith might also be tempting fate by revisiting a different franchise that cemented his stardom with Bad Boys For Life, so this is all very circular and completely exhausting.
(Via Yahoo Movies)