Fox, Emmerich Want to Celebrate <i>Independence Day</i> Again &amp; Again

If there's one truth about Hollywood, it's that cash is king. And that makes sense considering the enormous amount of money that goes into the making of a film. With ticket sales down across the board, the formerly extravagant industry has been taking great pains to be economical. The same can be said about the pair of Independence Day sequels to be filmed back to back for Fox, now being penned by director and co-writer Roland Emmerich and his collaborator Dean Devlin, Vulture reports. The idea is for the two movies to tell one large story, but not as one story split into two sections.

Although the 1996 original, starring Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman made, a killing at the box office (just over $306 million domestically), there's concern about cost with the sequels. An insider told Vulture that Emmerich's fee to write and direct is already pretty high, and that Smith is asking $50 million for both movies. These numbers understandably worry Fox, especially given the economic climate. Smith also has restrictions aside from cost, wanting to stick close to his family and the entertainment careers he's creating for them.

At this point, everyone's hanging back waiting to see how the scripts turn out. If Smith proves too expensive, we'll see if they replace him or go through a rewrite focusing on other characters. The studio apparently isn't married to the idea of keeping the superstar in the film if he proves too expensive or difficult. It will be interesting to see how this one plays out. Is Fox willing to bank on Smith still being a huge box-office draw? His last action movie was 2008's Hancock, which did well, but wasn't much loved. The question will be whether Smith's price is worth Fox spending millions on not one but two sequels to a 15-year-old movie.

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