Currently doing press for his World War II film Midway, Emmerich revealed that he “should have stopped” his production of the 2016 sequel to the 1996 classic Independence Day when star Will Smith dropped out to film Suicide Squad.
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Of course, that film was plagued by troubled production and also got a poor reception.
“I just wanted to make a movie exactly like the first,” Emmerich explained to Yahoo Movies UK in a piece published Friday.
But then Smith dropped out “in the middle of production” and Emmerich had to scramble to rejigger his now-shattered vision, which was described by the NY Post as a “snoozefest”.
“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 criticised myself, a sequel.”
The 2016 film did successfully reunite the original film’s stars, with Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman resuming their roles, but struggled with filling the gap left by Smith.
Liam Hemsworth stepped in to star, and the film pulled in a dispiriting $389 million worldwide, on a reported $165 million budget.
This article originally appeared on Page Six and was reproduced with permission