As an actor with nearly $2 billion in box-office receipts to his name — and that's just counting his Fourth of July releases from 1996 (Independence Day), 1997 (Men In Black) and 1999 (Wild Wild West) — it's only natural that Will Smith one day would return to the scene of one of his summertime smashes. What he wasn't expecting, however, was to be as blown away as he was whenperusing the script for Men In Black 2.

"The whole gang is back!" Smith tells TV Guide Online, referring to his two extraterrestrial-fighting sidekicks, Tommy Lee Jones and Linda Fiorentino. "Oh, and how they bring Tommy's character back!... I can't let it out, but it's so brilliant." A rep for Jones confirms that the man who played Agent K to Smith's Agent J has signed on for the second MIB installment.

"It's great when a sequel can have a better script," Smith continues, "because it is so rare that the second film is better than the first one. But this one is ridiculous!"

Alas, just one thing — albeit one thing with 8,000 members — stands in the path of the powerful Men In Black: the looming threat of a strike by the Writers Guild of America. "[MIB director] Barry Sonnenfeld has the script and is working on it now," Smith explains, "but the strike is kind of holding things up."

As for the prospect of a follow-up to the White House-detonating Independence Day blockbuster, its star is a bit less optimistic. "We've been talking about it," Smith says, referring to the ID4 team of writer Dean Devlin and director/writer Roland Emmerich. "When you've got a movie that made that kind of money" — $300 million in domestic ticket sales alone — "rest assured somebody is talking about a sequel!"

Having attacked Earth the first time around on, well, America's Independence Day, what holiday might be targeted should there be an ID4x2? "This December..." Smith growls in a mock movie-trailer-type voiceover, "The Aliens Who Stole Christmas!"