We finally have confirmation that Will Smith will not be returning for the ‘Independence Day’ Sequel. The “Bad Boys” actor was considered to be the center of the franchise with the studio hoping that he will reprise his role as Captain Steven Hiller. Discussions for Smith returning were halted In October 2011 due to Fox’s refusal to provide the $50 million salary demanded by Smith. Director Roland Emmerich did however commit to a back-to-back release, regardless of Smith’s involvement.
Emmerich said in an interview back in October that two scripts are available for the film. One of the scripts sees Will Smith reprising his role and the other doesn’t. Michael B. Jordan (“Chronicle”) has since been rumored to be attached as the leading man with the main focus on the step-son of Smith’s character. No statement has been released indicating why Smith declined to reprise his role in the sequel.
The ‘Independence Day’ Sequel’ was initially planned to be released on July 3, 2015. The release date will jump a year to make its way out on July 1, 2016. Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman will likely reprise their roles as David Levinson, the MIT computer expert and President Thomas J. Whitmore respectively.
Additional source: Deadline.com