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Director Roland Emmerich’s 1996 blockbuster “Independence Day” shattered box office records, took catastrophe films to a global level, and put television’s “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” star Will Smith on Hollywood’s A-list.  Recently, Emmerich confirmed the sad news that Smith will not reprise his role as Captain Steven Hiller in the upcoming “Independence Day” sequels.

“Will Smith cannot come back because he’s too expensive, but he’d also be too much of a marquee name,” said Emmerich, while promoting his latest film, “White House Down.” “It would be too much.”

The German director continued.

“We have like 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.”

The filmmakers are hoping to capitalize with the two follow-up sequels entitled “ID Forever, Part 1,” and “ID Forever, Part II.”  The first film grossed a record $817.4 million.

The original script for the sequels is being polished by screenwriter James Vanderbilt (“The Amazing Spider-Man,” “Zodiac.”)

“We’re not doing a total reboot, we’re doing something that’s totally unusual,” said Emmerich.

Emmerich was reluctant to give out any information on the “Independence Day” sequels, but did end the interview with this amusing comment.

“I think some aliens will be back,” he said laughing.

One wonders if Will Smith would be willing to drop his price since his latest film “After Earth” bombed horribly at the box office?

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Here is a brief outline for the sequels.

It’s been almost 20 years since the nations of the Earth were plunged into a war with a scavenger race of extraterrestrials.  Humans have harnessed the technology salvaged from the multitude of wrecked alien craft to make numerous scientific advancements, but lack the ability to duplicate the organically-grown technology.  Now, alien reinforcements are about to arrive.

Although no production date has been announced, “ID Forever – Part 1” is scheduled for release on July 3, 2015.  The film will star Bill Pullman  Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich co-wrote the script, which has been turned over to writer-producer James Vanderbilt (“White House Down”) for a rewrite.  Roland Emmerich will direct.

Sources: NewYorkDailyNews, IMDb