Will Smith as Capt. Steve Hiller in 'Independence Day'

The last time we heard about the sequels to ‘Independence Day’, word was that the two films were to be shot back-to-back with the first one expected to hit theaters some time in 2012. Roland Emmerich, the director of the original ‘Independence Day’ was set to return to the director’s chair with star Will Smith returning to the lead role. Apparently, things have changed a bit since then. The scripts for both films are almost ready to go but budget cuts and funding issues may end up leading to some changes before the movies actually go into filming.

Apparently the lower budget has forced Fox Pictures to reassess their take on the ‘Independence Day’ sequels. Will Smith has reportedly asked for a $50-million paycheck to star in both films. Mix that massive investment in with Emmerich’s salary plus the budgets for all the FX and other stars and crew and it’s a recipe for possible cutbacks.

There’s no word yet on whether Smith has made any commitments with Fox for the films as of yet. However, the star is currently cast as as the star of M. Night Shyamalan’s ‘One Thousand A.E.’. This sci-fi adventure film, which co-stars Smith’s son Jaden, is currently listed as “in-production” for 2013. Whether Smith has the time or is willing to sway on his asking price, Fox has stated that they are making these films with or without their leading man.

As for the sequels themselves, Collider has reported that they will be stand-alone films with an over-arcing story rather than one huge film split in two like the last couple of ‘Harry Potter’ or ‘Twilight’ films.

What do you think? Would you watch an ‘Independence Day’ movie without Will Smith’s Capt. Hiller? If Smith is out, who would you cast in the role? Or would you just toss out Smith’s character altogether and cast a different actor in the lead as a new character?