Director Roland Emmerich recently revealed the reason why Will Smith is not reprising his role of Capt. Steven Hiller in “Independence Day Resurgence.” During a media event, Emmerich said that Smith was initially keen to return for the sequel but he lost interest after he did another science-fiction film, “After Earth.” He added that initially he had planned the sequel around Hiller’s relationship with his son Dylan Dubrow-Hiller (Jessie Usher).
“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,” he said, as Cinema Blend reported. Emmerich also said that the absence of Smith’s character will be dealt with in a “very respectful way,” as his character is still part of the “Independence Day” universe. The rumors of Smith doing a cameo have also been put to rest.
Earlier this year, Smith told Variety that "After Earth" was the "most painful failure" of his career.
“Independence Day Resurgence” will see a return of aliens, and a few brave men will unite to protect Earth from invasion. Two spaceships will be devised to defend Earth from the extraterrestrial force, but the aliens will break all the barriers in order to fight the humans.
Usher and Liam Hemsworth will lead a cast that also includes Charlotte Gainsbourg, Maika Monroe, Joey King, Sela Ward and William Fichtner. Hemsworth will play Jake Morrison, a fighter pilot. Jeff Goldblum will reprise his role as David Levinson, Bill Pullman will come back as Thomas J. Whitemore and Vivica A. Fox will return as Jasmine Dubrow-Hiller.
Filming began in April in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Emmerich wrote the screenplay with Carter Blanchard and Dean Devlin. David Arnold has supplied the music and Markus Forderer has done the cinematography. It opens June 24, 2016.