Next year, the world will once again have to fight off aliens looking to destroy Earth in "Independence Day: Resurgence," but they will be without one of the men who took them down last time -- Capt. Steven Hiller (Will Smith). When the film opens in June 2016, the cigar-smoking hero will be dead after a test run of a an alien fighter jet went wrong.
The first trailer for "Independence Day: Resurgence" debuted on Sunday and many have noticed that Smith's iconic character is nowhere to be found. The film's new site Warof1996.com, which goes through all of the events that have happened since 1996, explains that Hiller was killed in an explosion in 2007 while "test piloting the ESD’s first alien hybrid fighter." The fighter malfunctioned resulting in an explosion.
In the first "Independence Day" it was Hiller and Jeff Goldblum's character David Levinson who helped stop the aliens after leaving a nuclear bomb on the alien's mothership. Levinson will be present in the sequel, as well as former President of the United States Thomas J. Whitmore, played by Bill Pullman.
In June, director Roland Emmerich told CinemaBlend Smith was originally going to be in the sequel, but later backed out after making the sci-fi film "After Earth" with his son Jaden Smith. The plot of "Independence Day: Resurgence"was supposed to have a father-son angle, and Smith didn't want to join another project with a similar storyline. Emmerich said the film would deal with Smith's character in a"very respectful way" while keeping him "still part of this universe."
"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," Emmerich dished.
While Smith isn't returning for the sequel, Vivica A. Fox will reprise her role as Hiller's wife Jasmine. Fox told the Detroit Free Press in October that Jasmine is no longer a stripper, but is instead an administrator at a hospital, who's focused on raising her son Dylan, played by Jessie Usher. She said although Smith's not part of the movie, he still was able to contribute a little bit.
"He wanted to do 'Suicide Squad' and other projects, so he passed. ... We missed him – trust me, we did – but he gave us his blessings and for that we’re very grateful. He was actually instrumental in handpicking (Usher)."
You can watch the full "Independence Day: Resurgence" trailer below:
"Independence Day: Resurgence" is expected to hit theaters June, 24, 2016.