Why ‘Independence Day: Resurgence’ Won’t Feature Will Smith

As the Inquisitr previously reported, the first official trailer for Independence Day: Resurgence dropped over the weekend. The sequel to the 1996 summer blockbuster will see the return of Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Brent Spiner, Judd Hirsch, and Vivica A. Fox. Unfortunately, it won’t see the return of Will Smith, which is something that was first discussed more than two years ago. Shortly after Smith said he wouldn’t return, another rumor popped up saying that there was a possibility that the 47-year-old actor could actually be in the Independence Day sequel after all. But then he backed out again, and this time, it was for good.

Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum In ID4

The website, War of 1996, serves as a marketing campaign for Independence Day: Resurgence, and also as a “memorial” for the events that occurred in the first movie. A timeline displays the events that have occurred from the first film all the way through 2014, and also marks the date for the 20th anniversary of the event in 2016. But those wanting to know what happened to Will Smith’s character will have to look at the year 2007. On April 27 of that year, Colonel Steven Hiller reportedly died during a test flight of the first ever alien hybrid fighter as a result of “an unknown malfunction” that caused it to crash. Below is an image of the mock news report that explains the incident.

Independence Day: Resurgence News Report

During a talk with Collider earlier this year, Emmerich had explained that Smith was interested in returning to Independence Day: Resurgence, when the two had first discussed it. But as time went by, the actor’s interest began to wane.

“I wanted to work with him, and he was very excited to be in it, but then after a while, you know, he just was tired of sequels, and he did another science fiction film, which was his father-son story, so he opted out.”

Since his work in 1996’s Independence Day, Will Smith has done three Men in Black films, a sequel to Michael Bay’s Bad Boys, and also worked with his son, Jaden Smith, in M. Night Shyamalan’s After Earth. According to his IMDb profile, he is listed as “rumored” for two more Bad Boys films.

At the time of the interview, Emmerich didn’t want to give away how they dealt with Steven Hiller not returning for Independence Day: Resurgence, but he noted that how they sent the character off was done in a way that wouldn’t upset fans of the original film.

“[We did it] in a very kind of respectful manner and he’s still part of this universe, but it’s mainly kind of a little bit a handover from the old generation to the new.”

Releasing on July 3 in 1996, the first Independence Day was a huge success, bringing in more than $800 million worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo. The film had also scored an Oscar for best visual effects, and AMC aired the film for 12 consecutive hours during this year’s Fourth of July celebration, according to Zap2It.

Some new faces that will be making an appearance in Independence Day: Resurgence include Liam Hemsworth, William Fichtner, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and Sela Ward. The film is scheduled to hit theaters on June 24, 2016.

Do you think Independence Day: Resurgence will be OK without the presence of Will Smith?

[Image via 20th Century Fox via the Independent]