Should the fate of Will Smith’s character in ‘Independence Day Resurgence’ been a secret?

01.04.16

This summer, “Independence Day Resurgence” will take fans back to see how Earth has fared in the aftermath of the worldwide alien invasion of 1996. But while most of the original cast is returning, Will Smith”s fighter pilot is not.

While talking to Yahoo! News about “Concussion,” Smith spoke to his sadness over the ultimate fate of Captain Steven Hiller:

“I was working on Suicide Squad during that time. [Independence Day 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.”

Of course, this revelation will come as a HUGE surprise to fans of “Independence Day” who haven”t been keeping up with the multitude of in-universe websites associated with the sequel. ARGS – Augmented Reality Games – have become a staple of movie marketing over the last decade. From “Cloverfield” to “The Hunger Games” and “Jurassic World,” immersive experiences full of trivia and Easter Eggs have fleshed out the lore of these worlds. But not everyone participates. Over at WarOf1996.com*, the timeline of “Independence Day” post-invasion events includes Captain Steven Hiller”s – now Colonel Hiller – untimely death.

*Definitely check the site out if you want context for a lot of the trailer, including the alien skulls and how humanity has advanced in the last two decades.

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.

So this information isn”t technically a spoiler – especially since the “unknown malfunction” sounds like a plot point if ever I heard one – but how many people knew about the fate of Will Smith”s character prior to his interview and the subsequent media coverage? Does it effect if you”ll see the film? Let me know in the comments!

“Independence Day Resurgence” arrives in theaters on June 24, 2016.

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