In case you missed it, the first official teaser trailer for Independence Day: Resurgence was released earlier today. It revealed that in the twenty years since the alien attack, Earth has united and rebuilt the world using leftover technology from the invasion, including a space defense program. Now Insurgence brings back many familiar faces from the original, including Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Judd Hirsch and Vivica A. Fox, but of course one name is noticeably absent, Will Smith.
When the movie was official announced some time ago, the news of Smith not returning came along with it. It left many of us wondering why he wouldn’t be involved and why he wouldn’t want to be involved, especially with everyone but him returning. And as time went on we never really got an answer, in fact the sequel really tried to cut ties with Smith’s Steven Hiller’s character by only revealing that Hiller’s girlfriend/fiancé (Fox) and her son (now played by Jesse Usher in Resurgence) would be the ones making the return and not him. So since then we’ve all been asking why the character wouldn’t be returning alongside them, and while the teaser trailer didn’t answer the question, a viral video for the movie that was released shortly after does.
You can get your answer below at about the 1:12 mark:
There you have it folks. Smith’s Col. Steven Hiller character died during a testing exercise on the new technology being built. The headline reads: “World Mourns Col. Hiller”, with the date being 12/1/2007. And here is what the copy reads from the movies viral website: “While test piloting the ESD’s first alien hybrid fighter, an unknown malfunction causes the untimely death of Col. Hiller. Hiller’s valor in the War of ’96 made him a beloved global icon whose selfless assault against the alien mothership lead directly to the enemy’s defeat. He is survived by his wife Jasmine and his son Dylan.”
Although it’s the obvious excuse for the character’s absence in the sequel, it’s still a bummer. Smith is one of my all-time favorite actors and the work he delivered in the original is one of the main reasons why I enjoy it so much. There’s no doubt that his presence will be missed in the movie, but the trailer did a pretty good job of selling us that he doesn’t have to be in it (you can see the trailer and my reaction to it here). Not just that, but there is plenty of new blood in the movie (Liam Hemsworth, Maika Monroe, Jessie Usher) that who knows, we may get another Hiller type character in Resurgence that is just as investing.
Roland Emmerich’s Independence Day: Resurgence hits theaters on June 24th, 2016.