<i>Independence Day</i> Sequel Won't Bring Back Will Smith

Another Independence Day is on the way, but without the heroic Captain Steve Hiller in tow.

Director Roland Emmerich confirmed in an interview with the New York Daily News that, yes, an Independence Day sequel is very much in the pipeline. But it won't feature original star Will Smith, because the actor's price-point is too high for the project.

"Will Smith can not come back because he's too expensive, but he'd also be too much of a marquee name," the filmmaker said. "It would be too much."

The second part of Emmerich's comment raises some questions. Is Independence Day 2 scaling back its scope? Are A-list actors not welcome along for the ride? The director adds that the project has "maybe half of the people that you know would know from the first film (in the script) and the other half people who are new." So perhaps there's still room for Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman's characters, with space for a new leading man to occupy Smith's action-hero void. As long as Judd Hirsch is back, I'm a happy man.

Independence Day 2 is scheduled to open July 3, 2015, 19 years after the original.

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