‘Independence Day: Resurgence’ Has an Explanation for Will Smith’s Absence
The first trailer for Independence Day: Resurgence arrived over the weekend, and while we’ve known for some time that Will Smith wouldn’t be returning to reprise his role for the sequel, we were still hoping that maybe the trailer would address his absence — after all, they cast Jessie Usher as Captain Hiller’s son, and even Vivica A. Fox came back. Surely Smith’s character will be mentioned in passing at the very least, right? If you’re curious about how Resurgence will deal with Smith’s absence, the viral website has an answer.
In addition to the first trailer for the sequel, 20th Century Fox has unveiled a viral website for Independence Day: Resurgence, which fills us in on what’s happened in the 20 years since the events of the first film. The fictional timeline offers details on what’s been dubbed the War of 1996 — which we already know about from Independence Day (duh) — and its fallout, which includes the development of leftover alien technology to create our own weapons, and what happened to Will Smith’s Captain Steven Hiller (screenshots via Slashfilm):
The trailer makes it seem as though Jeff Goldblum’s David Levinson is one of the more significant characters in the sequel, and the timeline reveals that he’s been overseeing the program to develop the alien tech into weapons that could protect us in the event of another invasion.
As for Smith’s character, he participated in the weapons testing, resulting in his untimely death. Is that a little shade director Roland Emmerich is throwing at Smith for not appearing in the sequel? Maybe.
Independence Day: Resurgence also features original cast members Bill Pullman, Judd Hirsch and Brent Spiner, along with Joey King, Maika Monroe, Liam Hemsworth, William Fichtner and Charlotte Gainsbourg. The sequel arrives on June 24, 2016.