Fox Wants Two Independence Day Sequels, With Or Without Will Smith

Fifteen years after Independence Day made $800 million worldwide by punching aliens in the face and giving computer viruses to operating systems not of this Earth, Fox wants to cash in on two sequels shot back-to-back to lower production costs. Director Roland “It’s a disaster!” Emmerich and his producing/writing partner Dean Devlin have been working on the scripts since early 2009, when Fox started negotiating with Will Smith to star:

Fox started working on structuring a deal to sign him back in early 2009, but the world’s last bankable action star was seeking $50 million to shoot both ID2 and ID3 back-to-back, and Fox balked at so large a price tag in combination with Emmerich’s own hefty salary demands to direct. “The delay wasn’t about whether they both wanted to make the movie,” explains one insider, “It had more to do with ‘Whose dick is bigger?’” [Vulture]

So like all negotiations in Hollywood then. Vulture reports Fox is willing to make the two movies without Smith if it comes to that, and the two back-to-back sequels are supposed to work as standalone movies with the same overall story arc, along the lines of the last two Back to the Future movies. As Vulture also mentions, it appears Bill Pullman is ready for whatever speeches they want him to deliver in the next one:

By the way, this is still the greatest photoshop I’ve ever made: