While on the rounds promoting 2012 in October director Roland Emmerich said that he had a story for an Independence Day sequel and had spoken with 20th Century Fox about it. The only problem was money, and negotiating who gets paid what.
Will Smith was interested, but considering Independence Day made over $800 million worldwide (and his continued box office success since then) he was looking to get an upfront fee and then a % of the profits for the sequel. Roland Emmerich may have been looking for a similar deal too. He made $100 million from 2012 as he had a deal whereby he received 20% of the first-dollar gross profits. Fox could potentially have to pay out $50+ million just for the director and star (and then more after the film is released).
Well it seems all involved may have sorted out their deals, as IESB are reporting that we may be getting not one, but two, Independence Day sequels.
IESB has received a tip that Will Smith is now locked for not only Independence Day 2, but also a third installment. The plan would be to shoot both films back-to-back. Whether the studio opts to go the Matrix route and release the two films six months apart or do like the Pirates of the Caribbean sequels and split them by a year remains to be seen. According to our sources, if all goes according to plan, the sequel(s) could shoot as early as 2011.
This would be Emmerich’s next directorial endeavor after his William Shakespeare thriller Anonymous. This would also come after Will Smith’s next (which will be either The City That Sailed or Men in Black 3). So this wouldn’t interfere with those projects.
With the box office gross of the first film in 1996 20th Century Fox could potentially have a billion dollar franchise on their hands. James Cameron recently said that even if he began working on Avatar 2 tomorrow it would still take 3 years to make, so Fox will be keen to get another ‘event’ movie in the pipeline in the meantime.
What do you think of this news? Would you be interested in seeing more Independence Day films, or should Fox let the film remain a standalone 1996 hit?