After years of speculation on whether or not Will Smith will return as Steven Hiller in Independence Day 2, we have word that the actor recently informed 20th Century Fox that he won't be coming back for the sequel.
Fortunately, director Roland Emmerich has a back-up plan. The filmmaker revealed in October that screenwriter James Vanderbilt (White House Down) has completed two versions of the script, one which centers on Will Smith's character, and one that doesn't. The director and Dean Devlin wrote the first draft of the script, before turning the writing duties over to James Vanderbilt.
Will Smith has not reached out to director Roland Emmerich yet, and the actor's decision is still not "set in stone," although it is believed that he has finally made up his mind, after years of going back and forth on whether or not to join the sequel. No story details have been released. We also reported in September that rising star Michael B. Jordan auditioned for a role in the follow-up. While it isn't known what role the actor tried out for, it's been speculated that he may have tried out for the role of Dylan Dubrow, the son of Vivica A. Fox's Jasmine Dubrow from the original blockbuster. The story is set 20 years after the original, which would make the 26-year-old actor the right age for that role.
Back in November, 20th Century Fox pushed the release date nearly one full year, from July 3, 2015 to July 1, 2016, which coincides with the 20th anniversary of Independence Day. The blockbuster earned $811 million worldwide, and solidified Will Smith's status as a bankable box office draw.