The trailer for the long-awaited sequel to 1996’s Independence Day, Independence Day: Resurgence dropped yesterday on the internet and during Sunday afternoon football broadcasts. While the trailer was filled with plenty of callbacks to the original film be it the caravan of vans in the desert, President Whitmore’s (Bill Pullman, American Ultra) famous speech echoing in the background and the appearance of David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum, Jurassic Park), one key aspect from the first film missing in the trailer was Steven Hiller (Will Smith, Concussion).
For those following the project, it’s been well known that Smith wasn’t likely to return for the sequel however now we know how his character has been written out of the franchise. The film’s marketing site WarOf1996.com gives an alternate timeline of everything that happened in the franchise’s history since the aliens were defeated at the end of the first film. Among those events, was the tragic death of Colonel Steven Hiller on April 27, 2007.
As alluded in the trailer, after the events of the first film, humans researched ways to incorporate the alien’s military technology with our own. Hiller tested a prototype of an alien hybrid fighter that exploded due to a malfunction. The site gives a full description of the events.
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.
Vivica A. Fox (Kill Bill Vol. 1) will return to the sequel as Hiller’s wife, Jasmine while Jessie Usher (When The Game Stands Tall) will play Hiller’s stepson, Dylan. Usher isn’t the only actor taking over the reins of a returning character as Maika Monroe (It Follows) will play President Whitmore’s daughter, Patricia who was previously played by Mae Whitman (The Duff).
Independence Day: Resurgence is set to release June 24, 2016. We will have more on the film leading up to its release.