Will Smith won't be back for Independence Day 2

Will Smith's "will he, won't he?" dance with Independence Day 2 seems to have finally settled on "he won't", with the actor reportedly not reprising his role as fighter pilot Steven Hillier in the upcoming sequel.

Deadline have been "reliably told" by their sources that Smith's officially out, though the sequel is still due to invade cinemas in July 2016, 20 years after the first alien invasion flick.

No word yet on why Smith decided not to return, but director Roland Emmerich probably isn't surprised - he told Daily News last year that Smith would probably be "too expensive" anyway.

Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman will be back, though, this time going up against the evil ETs alongside Ross Bagley, who'll play Smith's grown-up son.

Independence Day 2 opens in cinemas on 4 July 2016.

Josh Winning has worn a lot of hats over the years. Contributing Editor at Total Film, writer for SFX, and senior film writer at the Radio Times. Josh has also penned a novel about mysteries and monsters, is the co-host of a movie podcast, and has a library of pretty phenomenal stories from visiting some of the biggest TV and film sets in the world. He would also like you to know that he "lives for cat videos..." Don't we all, Josh. Don't we all.