Well, it’s not going to be Michael B. Jordan after all, whose name had been rumored to be in contention for the part. Jessie T. Usher, who starred in the LeBron James-produced Starz series, "Survivor’s Remorse," has been cast as the lead in Fox’s "Independence Day" sequel.
20th Century Fox is moving ahead with the first of 2 announced "Independence Day" sequels, which will be released during the summer of 2016, exactly 20 years after the first film’s July 3, 1996 theatrical debut.
But maybe Usher’s casting shouldn’t be a surprise, as Roland Emmerich, who is directing, previously shared that he was planning to cast an upstart, instead of a known actor. Might this be Usher’s breakout role, in the same way that the first "Independent Day" movie helped launch Will Smith’s big screen superstar career?
Time will tell.
As for Will Smith, he’s not returning, and will indeed sit out the next 2 films, paving the way for Usher to take over, playing his son, in a handing-off of the baton.
As Emmerich said previously, the sequels would be "a bit like the sons takeover," meaning maybe Will Smith wasn’t expected to be part of the sequels in the first place – at least, not in any meaningful way – and the story-lines for each film will instead focus on a new generation of human heroes, including Will Smith’s character’s eventual stepson (Vivica Fox’s kid) in "ID4" (who was played by Ross Bagley, now 25 years old).
Some of the original cast will be back for both films, which will begin 20+ years after the first film.
Bill Pullman has already confirmed that he’s definitely game for returning. I wonder if Vivica Fox will as well…
It was previously reported that the 2 films will be called: "ID Forever – Part 1," and "ID Forever – Part 2."
We’ll see how this all shakes out. I haven’t exactly been longing for "ID4" sequels, but I’ll still see them when they do get made and released.
Congrats Jesse T. Usher! This is big!
The news was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter.