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Will Smith Looks to Business of ‘Selling Time’; Update on Involvement with ‘ID42’ Hits

Written by on October 25, 2013 

With his acting career once again taking some precedence over the publicly-glanced business of raising children who make fascinating use of Twitter accounts, Will Smith, after some time, is back on the casting scene. A most recent bit of news comes from TheWrap, who report that he’s about to board yet another sci-fi picture — but, perhaps, with fewer memory-wiping devices and taken knees than past appearances — called Selling Time, which, as has seemingly become common (e.g. Source Code and Edge of Tomorrow), cribs from Groundhog Day to establish its genre conceit.

No filmmaker is yet attached — at the moment, “[s]everal A-list filmmakers” are said to be circling — but a script’s existed for several years, Smith having been attached since the project’s early stages. Though first written by Dan McDermott, over the year’s it’s been fashioned by Spike Lee and Derick & Steve Martini, since coming back around to the original scribe — which is somewhat (though hopefully not too) fitting for a film about “a man who is given a chance to relive the worst day of his life in exchange for seven years off his life expectancy.” From here, lessons are learned and people gain a greater understanding of every day’s significance, etc. You know how this works, so let’s hope Smith and his eventual director can make it work.

One title that’s had a bit more trouble in locking down the star is Independence Day 2, which has been going back-and-forth over the typical issues of salary. In the next installment of this interminable saga centered on people being too rich for their own good, ThePlaylist learned, from Roland Emmerich, that James Vanderbilt (with whom he recently collaborated on White House Down) has actually scripted two versions of the movie — indeed, one with Smith‘s character, one without. Now that the project has, apparently, been pared down to a single film — the director feels that four years on what is essentially the same project might not be wise; we’re inclined to agree — some thorny contract issues (e.g. how many movies do you pay him for?) could smooth out. With rumors of a push back to 2016, they still have a little bit of time.

What do you think of Selling Time, and of Smith’s involvement? Do you have any interest in his attachment to an Independence Day sequel?

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