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'Independence Day 2' Can't Afford Will Smith's Big Willy Payrate

20th Century Fox 20th Century Fox

Whether their big mothership viral implant operation was preposterous or not (read: it absolutely was) the humored tough guy-meets-nervous geek dynamic presented by Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum in "Independence Day" was one of the movie's better aspects.

Smith's stylish ability to walk that line between action hero and comedic relief in the pic would prove to be the defining characteristic of his movie career, really. But while he's got the ole' holiday-themed blockbuster to thank at least in part for his superstar status, he's gotten way too big for the "ID" britches anymore ... or so says director Roland Emmerich.

According to the New York Daily News, Emmerich declared while promoting his latest Capitol Hill smash-'em-upper "White House Down" that Mr. Money Bags Smith won't be returning for his long-overdue "Independence Day" follow-up because he's "too expensive" for the payroll budget and "he'd also be too much of a marquee name ... It would be too much."

Whoa. "Too much."

There are just lines to be read between all over the place in that little nugget, no?

After all, Smith has been a little strangesauce lately... and there was that recent "I need to be the lead" diva-ing thing he did. But still, wasn't that a little bit of a cheap shot, so to speak?

Either way, Emmerich did also add that Smith isn't the only original who won't be flying back in for more hostile alien business. "We have like maybe half of the people that you would know from the first film ... and the other half people who are new," Emmerich explained. (One such planned returnee is Bill Pullman.)

"Independence Day 2," one of two planned sequels to the mega-successful 1996 original, has been scheduled to hit theaters sans Big Willy on July 3, 2015 just in time for, you guessed it, the Fourth of July.

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