Here's the reason why Will Smith wasn't in Independence Day 2.
Twenty years ago, Independence Day turned Will Smith from a sitcom actor to a mega-movie star.
Independence Day: Resurgence opens in theaters Friday. But Will Smith's acting talents will not be appearing on the silver screen to do battle against aliens against with Jeff Goldblum, Vivica A. Fox, and Bill Pullman, all members of the original cast who signed on for round two. So why isn't Will Smith back?
Apparently, Will Smith's character Steven Hiller has died. Specifically: While test piloting the ESDs new alien hybrid fighter, an unknown malfunction causes the death of Col. Hiller.
Director Roland Emmerich shed some details on the situation during an interview with HeyUGuys. Apparently, Smith was included in the original script as part of a father-son storyline. But after Emmerich hired two new younger writers, they decided to change the storyline to be about a younger generation taking over, which made Will Smith unnecessary for the sequel.
Will Smith, however, explained in an interview on BBC Radio 1Xtra that it really came down to a scheduling conflict.
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, timing-wise, between Independence Day and Suicide Squad, the actor said. They were sending pictures from the set, and I was like, ahh.
The world is in a place of nostalgia right now, he added. Specifically in entertainment, theres such a pull for nostalgia, so it was just the perfect opportunity and it didnt work out.
So apparently, Will Smith turned down Independence Day 2 for Suicide Squad. And Will Smith may have dodged a bullet. According to box office reports, Will Smith's Independence Day 2 bombed in the box office. Independence Day 2 earned only $41.6 million, which is a far cry from the original movie's $100 million debut.