Long seen as the “Bill Murray” of the Independence Day sequel, the filmmakers eventually had to decide to proceed without bringing back Will Smith for more alien fighting. It surely must have been a surprise for both director Roland Emmerich and Smith himself that they couldn’t get back together for part 2. After all, Independence Day was the film that firmly established Smith as a box office magnate, and earned him the kick name “Mr. July” for his summer successes. But the show, as they say, must go on, and fans already know what the fate of Smith’s Independence Day character is so far as the upcoming sequel’s concerned. Smith also knows, and he has some very non-mixed feelings about it.
As you may recall, a viral site released in conjunction with that first Independence Day: Resurgence trailer revealed that Smith’s character from the 1996 original, Marine pilot Steven Hiller, was killed while test piloting an advanced hybrid fighter prototype. On the bright side, he did die a colonel (in Independence Day he was a captain), but apparently Smith quite emotional when he found out about the fate of his alterego telling Yahoo! Movies:
“I was working on Suicide Squad during that time. [Independence Day director] Roland [Emmerich] and I had talked about it. The trailer looks really cool. I’m going to be sitting around with tears in my eyes when that one comes out… It was terrible when I found out my character died.”
“Terrible,” but perhaps not surprising. What would be surprising is if one of the heroes of the original fight for some reason sat on the bench while the aliens invaded again. Of course, both Bill Pullman and Jeff Goldblum are back for more alien fighting in Resurgence, but it’s nice to know that if Smith weren’t busy leading the bad guys of Suicide Squad into battle that he might have had the time to welcome those evil aliens back to Earth. In the meantime, Jesse Usher will play Dylan Hiller, the grown up stepson of Smith’s character, in the new film.
Independence Day: Resurgence will be in theaters everywhere on June 24.