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Will Smith Isn’t In The “Independence Day” Sequel And The Director Can’t Decide Why

All the reasons.

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Where the frack is Will Smith?


Fans of the franchise were excited to see the return of the likes of Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Judd Hirsch, Brent Spiner, and Vivica A. Fox, but Smith's absence seemed to be a major omission.

Fox also launched a companion site, The War of 1996, which functions a timeline of events to fill in the gaps between Independence Day and Resurgence, including the death of Smith's character, Col. Hiller, in 2007.

20th Century Fox / Via

The site reads:

"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 survied by his wife Jasmine and son Dylan."

In 2013, speaking to New York Daily News, the film's director Roland Emmerich said Smith was not returning to the franchise because he was too expensive.

Valerie Macon / AFP / Getty Images

"Will Smith can not come back because he's too expensive, but he'd also be too much of a marquee name, it would be too much."


But about a year ago, mid-2015, Emmerich changed his story, telling Cinemablend it was due to Smith's sequel fatigue.

Valerie Macon / AFP / Getty Images

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

While at the end of 2015, speaking to Yahoo Movies, Smith spoke about his character's death.

Jeff Haynes / AFP / Getty Images

“I was working on Suicide Squad during that time, Roland 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.”

Meanwhile, on the press tour for Resurgence, Emmerich told HeyUGuys Smith's absence was simply part of the story they wanted to tell.

Valerie Macon / AFP / Getty Images

"The first script included Will Smith, it was a totally different story. There was no new generation or anything, it was a father/son story, and when that didn’t work I said 'let’s explore other possibilities'.

Maybe two years ago it fully hit me because I hired two young writers and they kind of said this has to be a hand-off to a younger generation and that's what I thought was the real trick to make this work."

EXCEPT in February of this year, Will spoke to BBC Radio 1Xtra and cleared up exactly why he isn't appearing.

“It was one of those things, I had a couple of films lined up. I had Concussion and Suicide Squad and so it was a decision - you know, timing wise - between Independence Day and Suicide Squad."