It was announced earlier this year that Twentieth Century Fox would re-release a 3D version of the film that we could say helped launch Will Smith to superstardom status – Independence Day (or ID4).
The studio was obviously inspired by the $344 million worldwide box office take of the re-release of Titanic in 3D.
Fox will release ID43D (we could call it), worldwide, on July 3, 2013, so we're about a year away from that.
Also worth noting is the sequel to Independence Day that's been talked about for a few years now, with director Ronald Emmerich stating that he plans to revisit that blockbuster, turning it into a franchise with not one, but TWO more films.
Emmerich and screenwriting partner Dean Devlin have reportedly already completed scripts for back-to-back sequels, and, as of our last posting on this, had turned them over to superstar Will Smith for his approval, because, as one might expect, Smith would play a key role in whether both films actually get made.
But that may not be quite the case, since recent developments have said that 20th Century Fox could go ahead with both films without Smith, if they decide that his demands are too steep.
What demands? Well, most significantly, from our last post on this a few months back, Big Willie reportedly asks for $50 million to appear in both films, and Fox balked at the idea. There was also talk about Poppa Smith wanting to include his wife and kids in the movie (said a New York magazine exclusive).
Will's salary for the first film was about $5 million; not bad, considering he certainly wasn't the proven box office champ that he would later become. I'd assume that any sequels to ID4 would cost more than the $75 million the original film did. How much more, I don't know. But given the current budgets of many high-profile, special effects-laden, 3D blockbusters, I wouldn't be shocked if the budgets for ID4 parts 2 and 3 are in the $150 – $200+ million range (including salaries of course). So Will Smith asking for $25 million for each isn't all that unreasonable, is it? Given that he will likely headline each, and will be the main box office draw (along with the computer generated alien effects).
And if he wants to include his family in it… well… the question is, how badly do Fox and Emmerich want him in both films, and how crucial his appearance is to each film's box office.
In an interview with FilmStarts (via Bleeding Cool), posted yesterday, Emmerich updates us on the status of the sequels, stating:
– They already have titles for both films: ID Forever – Part 1, and ID Forever – Part 2.
– The films will be shot in 2D, and then post-converted to 3D (which I don't quite understand; why not just shoot 3D?); although Emmerich has already said that he's not too high on 3D. But it may not be solely his decision to make.
– Emmerich adds that there's still a struggle between the studio and the actors, although he doesn't say what exactly that struggle is; maybe it has to do with signing everyone they want to return for the sequels, and the money each might be asking.
– And finally, co-writer Dean Devlin had this to add to the conversation: "The thing that really hit me about the movie is how much love there is in it: between the characters; that the filmmakers had making it; that the cast had for each other. As we're approaching a sequel we're focusing on that aspect of it. Because I think that was really the key as to why it worked for everyone. It was lovable." Alrighty then. Lots of love all around I guess.
Let's see if they can rekindle that love with the studio, and get ID Forever – Part 1 and ID Forever – Part 2, financed and produced.
We'll see how this all shakes out. I haven't exactly been longing for ID4 sequels, but I'll probably still see them if they do get made, with or without Will Smith.