What Will Smith Thinks About His Independence Day Character Being Killed Off

When the Independence Day: Resurgence trailer was released it basically broke the internet. 20 years in the making, fans of the original movie have been waiting and hoping for another look at the war between the hostile aliens and the forces fighting back against them. However, it is disappointing that Will Smith won’t be reprising his role as Captain Steve Hiller. Following the trailer release, a viral website made its way to the internet that confirmed Hiller died a few years before the events of Resurgence. Will Smith recently opened up about how he felt when he realized his famous character bit the dust, saying bluntly: 

It was terrible when I found out my character died.

This statement was made briefly in an interview that the actor did with Yahoo. While the majority of the piece revolves around his Oscar buzzed movie Concussion, he managed to make that quick remark about Independence Day. Will Smith also opened up that he saw the trailer when filming Suicide Squad and commented on how good it looks. Which I’d say is a pretty classy response after hearing that they unceremoniously killed off Steve Hiller.

It still baffles my mind that Will Smith would turn down the opportunity to appear in Independence Day: Resurgence. The first movie was such a huge hit, afterall. Independence Day was the highest grossing movie in 1996 and cemented Smith’s standing as a bonafide movie star.

The movie is also a popular culture staple of the 1990’s. The shot of the White House being destroyed by the alien ship was a feat in visual effects, and would go on to be spoofed and referenced for years to come. Additionally, Bill Pullman’s monologue has remained utterly quotable, especially as Independence Day has been airing on television throughout all of the years. 

While Will Smith won’t be appearing in Resurgence, his legacy will surely live on. Vivica A. Fox will be returning as Hiller’s widower Jasmine. Additionally, his now adult son Dylan, played by newcomer Jessie Usher, will have a substantial role in the film, apparently following in his late father’s footsteps

Another cast member I’m surprised didn’t return is Parenthood’s Mae Whitman. As a child actress Whitman played Patricia Whitmore, the daughter of Bill Pullman. She’s gone on to a successful film and television career, so I’d assume that the team behind Resurgence would want to cash in and have her return. 

Check out the trailer for Independence Day: Resurgence below, even though Will Smith isn’t in it. The film will be released June 24th. 

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.