2016’s Independence Day: Resurgence was a critical failure and a commercial flop, pulling in $103,144,286 domestically from a $165 million budget (not including marketing). The film brought back Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman from the original Independence Day, but not Will Smith, who opted out in favor of filming Suicide Squad.
Now, in an interview with Yahoo UK about director Roland Emmerich’s upcoming new film, Midway, the director has opened up about Resurgence’s troubled production, and admitted that he regrets making the film the way that he did. The original script for the sequel included Will Smith’s character from the first film, Captain Steven Hiller, but when he dropped out a hasty rewrite had to happen.
“I just wanted to make a movie exactly like the first, but then in the middle of production Will opted out,” Emmerich said. “I should have stopped making the movie because we had a much better script. After I had to, really fast, cobble another script together. And I should have just said ‘no,’ because all of a sudden I was making something I criticized myself, a sequel.” Will Smith played Deadshot in 2016’s Suicide Squad instead, but he will not be returning for the sequel.
Elsewhere in the interview, Emmerich talks about his earlier films (“now everybody thinks The Day After Tomorrow was a genius thing but at that time, they didn’t think it was that genius”) and movies he has enjoyed lately, including Call Me By Your Name and Logan.
Emmerich’s next movie, Midway, is about US soldiers and pilots who were instrumental in the Battle of Midway during World War II. It will release in cinemas on November 8.