Will Smith Was As Crushed By His ‘Independence Day’ Character’s Fate As Fans Were

Independence Day: Resurgence was the source of a massive nostalgia wave when the sweeping first trailer arrived with plenty of analysis arriving in its wake. Folks noticed which characters returned and the strangeness of a remarkably unchanged Judd Hirsch. 20th Century Fox also provided a wealth of backstory to fill the audience in on the events of the past two decades.

However, the loss of one character hit audiences hard. Will Smith chose not to bring his swagger back for the sequel as Col. Steven Hiller, and the sequel’s trailer didn’t provide answers. This seemed like an unforgivable omission until we soon learned of Hiller’s fate, which was almost worse than not knowing. Hiller died in a ball of flames while testing an alien hybrid.

Smith addressed his character’s absence in a chat with Yahoo! Movies while promoting Concussion. Smith seemed shaken by Hiller’s tragic death:

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

Well, it makes sense that Hiller had to die. That’s the only way the studio could possibly explain why (other than a barbecue) he couldn’t step up and defend Earth again. Still, there’s not much closure in realizing how Hiller’s heroic feats culminated in a death while testing alien technology. That’s not the most glorious way to go out for a man who saved the damn world. Not cool, 20th Century Fox. Also strange? Hiller’s character never rose above the Colonel ranking, but we’ve heard no explanation there.

(Via Yahoo! Movies)