Independence Day: Resurgence Director Blames Will Smith's Departure for Film's Disappointments

Some fans had been hoping to get a follow-up to Independence Day for decades, with director Roland Emmerich finally delivering on those desires in 2016 with Independence Day: Resurgence, but the filmmaker recently claimed that it was original star Will Smith's decision to leave the production that ignited a series of script issues that led to the film being a disappointment. It's unclear exactly how different the original plans for the sequel differed from the final result, with fans failing to connect as strongly with the adventure, as it barely crossed the $100-million mark at the domestic box office.

"I just wanted to make a movie exactly like the first, but then in the middle of production Will opted out because he wanted to do Suicide Squad," Emmerich shared with Yahoo Movies UK. "I should have stopped making the movie because we had a much better script, then I had to really fast, cobble another script together."

He added, "I should have just said no because all of a sudden I was making something I criticized myself: a sequel."

Suicide Squad ended up being the more financially successful film, taking in $325.1 million domestically for a worldwide total of $746.8 million. Interestingly, Resurgence fared slightly better with critics, as Rotten Tomatoes calculated that 29% of critics gave it a positive score, while Suicide Squad only earned 27% positive reviews.

As far as why Smith opted to pursue Suicide Squad, the actor previously revealed it was merely the opportunity to explore a new character.

"I had the two screenplays in front of me for the Independence Day 2 and for Suicide Squad. I had to choose between the two of those," Smith shared with Entertainment Weekly back in 2016. "Even the choice of going to Suicide Squad — nothing about the qualities of the movie — but the choice of trying to go forward versus clinging and clawing backwards. I do want to aggressively go forward and do new things and create and hopefully be able to stumble upon a new heyday."

Sadly, the financial and critical disappointment of the film has seemingly stalled the franchise's entire future, with the original talks about Resurgence implying that this would be the first of multiple sequels, which seemed all the more likely given Resurgence's ending. Between the film's various disappointments and with Disney having purchased 20th Century Fox, we doubt we'll see another Independence Day on the big screen anytime soon.


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