Independence Day 2 Script Features Returning Cast Members, But No Will Smith

Following word this week of an official July 3, 2015 release date for 20th Century Fox’s Independence Day 2, director Roland Emmerich has dropped a few hints about what to expect from the much-anticipated sequel.

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

The 1996 original also starred talent like Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Randy Quaid, Mary McDonnell, Brent Spiner, James Duval and Vivica A. Fox. Although it’s not specified as to exactly who might return for the sequel, Emmerich confirms that a number of the original film’s characters appear in the script by Dean Devlin and himself.

“We have like maybe half of the people that you would know from the first film,” he says, “and the other half are people who are new.”

Pullman confirmed earlier this year that plans call for the return of his character, Thomas Whitmore, but no talent has been officially locked as of yet.