The most notable absentee in the upcoming “Independence Day: Resurgence” is that of Will Smith. The actor both did not want to return, due to his tiring of doing sequels, and couldn’t return due to his “Suicide Squad” filming commitments.
With the trailer launch today showing quite clearly he’s not in there, a new tie-in promo website Warof1996.com related to the film has revealed the fate of his character Lt. Steven Hiller in Roland Emmerich’s follow-up.
The site gives users an interactive look at the events in the twenty years between the end of the first film in 1996 and the new one which is set in the present day. In the timeline in the year 2007 there’s a ‘Breaking News’ story which indicate the character died during a test flight of an alien hybrid fighter. The report says:
“While test piloting the ESD’s first alien hybrid fighter, an unknown malfunction causes the untimely death of Col. Hiller. 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. He is survived by his wife Jasmine and son Dylan.”
Jeff Goldblum, Vivica A. Fox, Bill Pullman, Judd Hirsch and Brent Spiner reprise their roles from the original and are joined by Maika Monroe and Jessie Usher taking over two of the child roles from the original along with newcomers to the franchise Liam Hemsworth, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Angelababy, Sela Ward and Joey King.
Both the trailer and site confirm that the story has humanity using recovered alien technology to improve their defenses in case of another invasion. Even so, they are under-prepared for what’s coming.