It's never the most reliable of indicators but, if IMDb is to be believed, Will Smith is going to spend the next few years dwelling exclusively on well-trodden ground. After the success of Men in Black 3 – although that's a relative term, based on whether or not you believe "slightly better than Men in Black 2" to be a valid definition of success – the site would have you believe that Will Smith is only interested in making sequels from now on.
Apparently, after starring in the next M Night Shyamalan movie and a film about a magical horse, Will Smith will make Hancock 2. And then Bad Boys 3. And then, in 2015, I, Robot 2. Add to this the I Am Legend sequel that's apparently being developed and it would seem clear that Will Smith has his heart set on reliving old glories.
However, in a recent interview with BBC News, Smith apparently had other ideas. "I don't want to be the sequel guy," he said, claiming to have no involvement in I Am Legend 2 and suggesting that he'd only commit to other sequels if there's a "groundswell of support" for them.
So let's create one. Will Smith has almost two decades of moviemaking behind him at this point, so we've got a wealth of options when it comes to sequel groundswells. First let's rule out I Am Legend 2, because Will Smith isn't that keen and also because he became a sort of Zombie Jesus at the end of the first one. We should also avoid cheerleading for Hancock 2, simply because the original was so laboured and muddled that nobody in their right mind would want to sit through another one. And, let's be perfectly honest here, the world needs Bad Boys 3 like it needs to be attacked by a duck.
But that still leaves plenty of options. Think of all the new landmarks that have sprung up around the world in the 16 years since Independence Day was made. Wouldn't it be great to see a load of landmark-hating aliens blow up The Shard, or the Beijing Olympic stadium, or most of Dubai, while Will Smith trades more yucks with Jeff Goldblum? Of course it would.
And while we're at it, perhaps we should push for Enemy of the State 2. Not only has technology moved on enough since 1998 to warrant a brand new story that utilises brand new surveillance techniques, but it might also bring Gene Hackman out of retirement as well, and that's no bad thing. Or what about a sequel to Ali? The first film only stretched to 1974, so surely there's scope for another film that takes in the Thrilla in Manila, the Leon Spinks and Larry Holmes fight and Ali's Parkinson's diagnosis.
But there are plenty of other Will Smith films that could feasibly end up as sequels. Six Degrees of Separation 2. Another Legend of Bagger Vance. Hitch 2: Hitch & Son. Even More Pursuit of Happyness. He might not want to be known as the sequel guy, but that doesn't mean that sequels are automatically a terrible idea. Which films do you want to see Will Smith revisit?
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