The commotion related to Smith was told by Roland Emmerich during a conversation on the 25th anniversary of the premiere of “Independence Day”, which in 1996 conquered cinemas around the world and became the highest-grossing film of that year. With nearly $ 820 million in earnings, Emmerich’s film was then the second highest-grossing film of all time after Spielberg’s Jurassic Park.
Before the film was made, however, there was a problem with casting the role of the brave pilot, Captain Steven Hiller. It was already known that Jeff Goldblum would play the main role in “Independence Day”, but his partner was still debated. “Ethan Hawke was also on our list of candidates, but we thought he was still too young. So it was clear to us that it had to be Jeff Goldblum and Will Smith. We thought about such a duo. And then the studio objected. They didn’t like Will Smith. In their opinion, he was wild and had no chance on foreign markets, “Emmerich recalls in an interview with” The Hollywood Reporter “.
“They told us that if we cast a black actor in the role, we would kill our movie in an international box office. We argued that our movie was about aliens anyway, so it would do well in any market. A great war broke out. Roland and I stood by our side and managed to push Smith through, ”added Independence Day producer Dean Devlin.
“I blackmailed the studio that if they did not guarantee me Goldblum and Smith, I would move the film to Universal Studios. They called me from there every day. I don’t think there is any chance that the film will take over another studio, but it seemed like a big threat at the time, ”Emmerich revealed later in the interview. And he added that the huge box office success of “Independence Day” meant that Spielberg himself invited them to the set of the film “Lost World: Jurassic Park”. “You’ve changed the definition of a movie blockbuster forever. After this film, no one will be able to shoot ordinary blockbusters anymore, ”he recalls the first sentence they heard with Devlin from Spielberg. (PAP Life)