We’ve known for quite some time now that Will Smith’s character won’t be returning for Independence Day: Resurgence, as the trailer shows that Col. Steven Hiller died during a training exercise in 2007. As for why they killed him off, people have been speculating that it’s because Smith demanded too much money to appear in the film, or that he considered himself “too famous” to appear in what will probably amount to being a campy action flick – both of which, according to director Roland Emmerich, are false:
Speaking to HeyUGuys, the filmmaker said they ditched Will’s character Captain Steve Hiller – by killing him off 11 years before the events of the sequel – because they wanted to introduce a younger generation.
‘The first script included Will Smith, and it was a totally different story,’ Roland explained. ‘It was a father-son story, but that didn’t work. So, I said “lets explore other possibilities.”
‘Maybe two years ago it fully hit me. I hired two young writers and they said, “This has to be a hand off to a younger generation.” And that was, I thought, the real trick to make this work.’(via)
Considering that Jeff Goldblum, Judd Hirsch, Bill Pullman and Vivicia A. Fox are all actors who appeared in the original film and who are set to return in the sequel, I’m not so sure “handing off the film to a younger generation” is a valid excuse.
Then again, what do I know? I’m just a blogger with a latent distaste for Will Smith and his brood after they’ve come out and shown themselves to be fucking nuts.
At least we know the aliens will be making a comeback in the film: