The for this summer’s forthcoming sci-fi action sequel Independence Day: Resurgence landed just before Christmas. While many of the cast from the 1996 original are returning, the one big absence is star Will Smith. The star has now commented on how he feels about the upcoming movie–and the fact that his character has been killed off in the intervening years.
In an interview with , Smith said: “I was working on Suicide Squad during that time. [Director] Roland [Emmerich] and I had talked about it. The trailer looks really cool. I’m going to be sitting around with tears in my eyes when that one comes out. It was terrible when I found out my character died.”
The film’s includes a timeline of events to bridge the gap between the two movies. For 2007, it states: “an unknown malfunction during the test flight of the first Alien Hybrid Fighter results in Col. Hiller’s death,” referring to Smith’s character.
According to Emmerich, Smith initially planned to return for the second Independence Day, which at an earlier stage would have revolved around the Hiller’s relationship with his son. However, after making the similarly-themed sci-fi flop After Earth, Smith withdrew for the project “In the very beginning, I wanted to work with him and he was excited to be in it. But then after a while he was tired of sequels, and he did another science fiction film, which was his father-son story, so he opted out,” Emmerich last summer.
Independence Day: Resurgence is set for a June 24, 2016 release. It stars Jeff Goldblum, Vivica A. Fox, Bill Pulman, Maika Monroe, Liam Hemsworth, and Charlotte Gainsbourg.