Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman Coming Back For ‘Independence Day 2’, Says Roland Emmerich

Nineteen years after Independence Day made $800 million worldwide, Fox is setting up a July 3rd, 2015 release date for Independence Day 2. Director Roland Emmerich and co-writer Dean Devlin have been planning two sequels, shot back-to-back to save money, since 2009. Now Roland Emmerich is discussing who will (and probably won’t) return for Independence Day 2.

Emmerich told that both Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman will return for a storyline Vulture says “will focus on present-day Earth, when the aliens return and a younger generation is tasked with fighting them off.” He also told The Huffington Post that there will be a gay character, but he didn’t provide anymore specifics. He did, however, confirm Will Smith isn’t returning.

“Will Smith cannot come back because he’s too expensive, but he’d also be too much of a marquee name,” Emmerich told the New York Daily News. “We have maybe half of the people that you would know from the first film, and the other half people who are new.” [THR]

We’ve never heard of somebody being left out of a sequel because they’re too much of a marquee name. That’s like saying the romantic leads are too gorgeous or the financiers are offering too much money or the coke pile on the conference table is too copious or the hookers too resplendent. On the other hand, Burnsy recently pointed out Will Smith was asking for $50 million to make both Independence Day 2 and Independence Day 3. That’s a lot of money to deliver one-liners compared to what Emmerich’s films typically gross, but it’s also hard to imagine Independence Day without him.

Vaya con dios, Earthman.

(Pictures via Twentieth Century Fox)