It seemed unlikely that Will Smith would return for the upcoming sequels to "Independence Day," and now director Roland Emmerich has officially put the nail in the coffin.

"Will Smith can not come back because he's too expensive, but he'd also be too much of a marquee name," Emmerich told the Daily News.

The long-planned sequels to the 1996 blockbuster are to be set 20 years in the future. Emmerich also told the Daily News that his script featured a 50-50 split between characters from the first film and new faces. The director previously revealed that he hoped to feature Will Smith's stepson from the original movie in an important plot. Bill Pullman, who played the president, has already confirmed his return to the franchise.

With Emmerich's focus on tertiary and new characters, we suppose it makes sense for him not to pursue putting Smith in the new films -- tentatively titled "ID Forever, Part I" and "Part II" -- though we're going to miss seeing Smith fight off aliens while cracking wise. Maybe his on-screen stepson can fill that void?

We'll have to wait a couple years to find out. The first sequel should be in theaters July 3, 2015.

[via NY Daily News h/t CinemaBlend]

Earlier on Moviefone:

Why Will Smith Might Lose Custody Of Jaden Smith
categories Movies