‘Independence Day’ is often and quite justifiably held up as an exemplar of summer popcorn flicks. It’s practically in a category all by itself, so the news of the new sequel, ‘Independence Day: Resurgence,’ is definitely exciting and it’s hard to find anyone who saw the first movie who isn’t looking forward to the second. Most of the cast from the first movie is returning to reprise their roles in the second. We’re getting Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Vivica A. Fox… But there’s one very obvious, glaring omission from that list: Will Smith. While the original ‘Independence Day’ had a great ensemble cast and everyone pulled their own weight, Will Smith was arguably the biggest star of the show. What would that movie have been without his brilliant delivery of some of the best one-liners like “Welcome to Earth”?
At a recent ‘Independence Day: Resurgence’ press event Roland Emmerich, who is producing the movie, said that originally Will Smith was actually very excited to return to the ‘Independence Day’ universe. Smith would have been reprising his role as Capt. Steven Hiller who is now the father of Dylan (played by Jesse T. Usher). Unfortunately, this was before Smith’s box office flop, ‘After Earth.’ After that film, Smith became soured on the idea of doing another science fiction movie where he played a former military hero with a focus on a father/son relationship dynamic.
This is sad news, to be sure. Will Smith is easily one of the best actors in Hollywood today. However, if you consider things from a different point a view, this could actually be a good thing overall for the film. Will Smith isn’t just one of the best actors in Hollywood, he’s also one of the biggest stars. This means that his presence could potentially, no matter how unintentionally, make him the star of the movie, instead of just another part of the ensemble. CinemaBlend.com said that co-writer and producer Dean Devlin told them that Smith’s absence allowed them to give other members of the cast more action and ensure that they didn’t accidentally let any of the characters overshadow the others. If you look at the situation that way, maybe it really is for the best.
So, do you want to see an ‘Independence Day’ movie without Will Smith? Or do you think it’s actually all for the best? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
‘Independence Day: Resurgence’ is currently slated for release on June 24th, 2016.