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Here’s Why Will Smith’s Character Won’t Be in Independence Day: Resurgence

2 minute read

The action-packed new trailer for Independence Day: Resurgence dropped on Sunday, but the sequel to the 1996 sci-fi blockbuster was missing one familiar face: Will Smith.

Smith, whose Marine pilot hero character Col. Steven Hiller helped save the world from invading aliens, decided not to sign on for the movie, which hits theaters June 24.

In the new movie’s story, his character was killed in 2007 while test piloting the first alien hybrid fighter due to an “unknown malfunction,” according to 20th Century Fox. The film company created a website devoted to explaining the crucial events of the fictional “War of 1996,” recounting the plot of the original film in which mankind unites to successfully fight off the extraterrestrials, along with a timeline of what came after.

“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,” the site says. “He is survived by his wife Jasmine and son Dylan.”

Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Vivica A. Fox, and Judd Hirsch all reprise their roles from the original film. The sequel will also feature Liam Hemsworth, Maika Monroe and Joey King. Jessie Usher will play the son of Smith’s character.

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