You might’ve noticed that Will Smith‘s Steven Hiller wasn’t featured in the Independence Day: Resurgence trailer. That’s because the actor wasn’t able to come back for Roland Emmerich’s sequel. So, how did the filmmaker write out his character? Thanks to a new website created to promote the film, we now have an answer. (Warning: Spoilers below, if you’d rather not know.)
Warof1996.com offers an interactive look at the events that followed the first Independence Day leading up to Resurgence. Scrolling through the timeline at the bottom to 2007 will reveal a breaking news item with the headline, “Alien Tech Malfunction Kills Col. Hiller.”
The report reads, “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.”
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See an image of the broadcast below.
Fox also released a video promoting the site that features a series of news broadcasts voiced by Jeff Goldblum’s David Levinson. Watch it below.
Vivica A. Fox reprises her role of Jasmine for Resurgence, while Jessie Usher protrays Dylan. They are joined by Bill Pullman, Liam Hemsworth, Maika Monroe, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Angelababy, Sela Ward, and more. In Resurgence, humanity uses recovered alien technology to improve their defenses in case of another invasion. Unfortunately, they are still unprepared for what’s coming.
Emmerich told Cinema Blend earlier this year that he wanted Smith to reprise his role, but the actor was tired of doing sequels and he already had a sci-fi film at the time, After Earth.
Resurgence will invade theaters on Jun. 24, 2016.