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    Will Smith Not Returning for Independence Day 2, Director Says Movie Star is "Too Expensive"

    Will Smith, Independence Day 20th Century Fox

    If you were anticipating seeing Will Smith in the upcoming sequel to Independence Day, well, it looks like you might be out of luck.

    While it was recently announced that a follow-up to the hugely successful 1996 alien-invasion flick is slated to hit theaters on July 3, 2015, director Roland Emmerich has revealed that it will not feature the megastar.

    "Will Smith cannot come back because he's too expensive, but he'd also be too much of a marquee name," Emmerich told the New York Daily News. "It would be too much."

    VIDEO: Will Smith gushes over Jaden Smith at After Earth premiere

    Then again, the exclusion of Smith might be a blessing in disguise for the 44-year-old actor.

    After all, while chatting earlier this month with Digital Spy about his latest film, After Earth, Smith hinted at his desire to scale back on making big-budget movies.

    "I've been really focused and it's been an absolute necessity that the movie be a blockbuster," he said, referring to After Earth. "But I think I'm going to start moving out of that and finding more danger in my artistic choices."

    Meanwhile, Emmerich's new movie White House Down, starring Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx, hits theaters on Friday.

    PHOTOS: Will Smith is indeed movie star!

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