One of the most highly anticipated films this summer is Roland Emmerich’s Independence Day: Resurgence. As you saw in the trailers that released in the last few months, the film will bring in a whole new generation to fight the alien threat, alongside of the cast from the original. There is one notable exception from this film. Will Smith was the ace fighter pilot who delivered the last blow to the alien invaders int he first film, and due to scheduling problems, he couldn’t be in the sequel.
Smith was attached to the film for a long time, but had to bow out to film Suicide Squad.According Roland Emmerich, the film’s script went through dramatic changes when Smith departed. There were even two versions of Independence Day: Resurgence drafted, one with Smith, and one without.
In an interview with ComicBook.com, Emmerich talked about just how much Smith leaving the film affected the last script:
“In the very beginning, [Will Smith] was on board. He was actually very excited to do it but it got a little bit unlucky there. Even I needed kind of like two years to get through two scripts. We wanted to make two scripts because when we have Will we want to have two right away.
We sent him the scripts just when he was doing After Earth and wanted to create his own trilogy and had just done Men in Black 3 which was not a good experience for him. So, he just opted out. And I pretty much opted out.
It took me a couple of years until I could replace Will as not just one actor but a whole generation which is probably the breakthrough which was happening roughly two years ago… From then on, it was actually the story changed a lot. All the sudden, it was not about the old characters returning but it was more about the old characters handing it over to another generation in a very cool way.”
If Independence Day: Resurgence does well, we might see a few more sequels in the near future. Maybe they can potentially find a way to write Smith back into any sequels that we might see.
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