Will Smith was too old for Independence Day sequel
Will Smith was scrapped from 'Independence Day: Resurgence' film because he's too old.
The 47-year-old actor may have starred as Captain Steve Hiller in the original over two decades ago but director Roland Emmerich has admitted he chose not to cast the hunk in the forthcoming follow-up film because he wanted to introduce a younger generation of talent to the franchise.
Speaking to Hey U Guys, Emmerich said: "The first script included Will Smith, and it was a totally different story. It was a father-son story, but that didn't work. So, I said 'lets explore other possibilities.' Maybe two years ago it fully hit me. I hired two young writers and they said, 'This has to be a hand off to a younger generation.' And that was, I thought, the real trick to make this work."
The screenwriters got around Smith's exit by claiming Captain Hiller died 11 years after the events of the first film.
However, Smith was devastated when he found out that his alter-ego had been killed off without any warning.
He said: "It was terrible when I found out my character died."
Meanwhile, although he got rid of Smith, Emmerich didn't seem to have too much trouble reinstating 67-year-old Jeff Goldblum as computer expert David Levinson.
He said of the actor's return to the film: "He became a friend so I would have hit him over the head if he had of said no.
"I was always aware what we were doing - but the first time it really hit me was seeing Jeff Goldblum running around - it was like wow - it's Independence Day."
The 'Godzilla' director also admitted he isn't usually a fan of sequels but is already open to the possibility of a third installment depending on how well the second does.
He said: "The very first one was for me a standalone film. I don't really like sequels very much. Most of the time the original is better. "I don't want to announce number three with number two just coming out. If it's a hit, if it makes money, then sure I would like to do 'Independence Day Three'. The next installment has even more potential than this."