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Independence Day 2: Director says Will Smith 'too expensive'

By CAROLINE LEE, UPI.com   |   June 25, 2013 at 12:49 PM   |   Comments

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June 25 (UPI) -- Director Roland Emmerich has said he will not cast Will Smith in the follow-up to "Independence Day," because Smith is too expensive.

The 1996 film was Smith's first box-office blockbuster and grossed more than $300 million in the U.S., and put him on the big screen after "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air" wrapped.

“Will Smith cannot come back because he’s too expensive," Emmerich said. "He’d also be too much of a marquee name."

“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 is planning for two more "Independence Day" films. He first floated the idea of the sequels in 2011, and Smith said he wanted $50 million for a two-film deal.

The next "Independence Day" film is slated for a July 3, 2015 release date. "Independence Day 3" has not yet been approved by Fox, and is unlikely to be green-lighted until the studio gauges the success of the second film.

Follow @cmlee and @UPI on Twitter.
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