As the title suggests, Independence Day: Resurgence was supposed to revive the beloved sci-fi property and introduce it to a new generation of moviegoers. But things didn’t work out that way, as critics panned the sequel and audiences ignored it at the multiplex. Now director Roland Emmerich is saying he regrets making the 2016 film, particularly after original Independence Day star Will Smith left the project.
“I just wanted to make a movie exactly like the first, but then in the middle of production Will opted out because he wanted to do Suicide Squad,” Emmerich told Yahoo Movies UK in a recent interview. “I should have stopped making the movie because we had a much better script. After I had to, really fast, cobble another script together. And I should have just said ‘no,’ because all of a sudden I was making something I criticized myself, a sequel.”
Emmerich added, “Life sometimes happens a certain way… but I’ve always been into American movies and I never could understand anything else.”
Coming 20 years after the original Independence Day, Resurgence centered on a second alien invasion of Earth and starred Jessie Usher as the son of Smith’s character. Smith’s character was explained to have died years before the events of Resurgence.
Back in 2013, however, Emmerich told EW he didn’t want Smith for the sequel. “He’s too big for a movie like this,” the director said. “It would be a Will Smith movie. It’s Independence Day. And Independence Day was always not about one person. It was always a group thing. And [Will] is too big a star.”
Emmerich’s next movie, Midway, opens Nov. 8.