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Why Will Smith won't be back in the 'Independence Day' sequel


Will Smith independence day

Fox released the trailer for the "Independence Day" sequel, "Independence Day: Resurgence" Sunday afternoon, and the first thing you may have noticed is that Will Smith isn't returning for another battle with aliens.

Back in 2014, Deadline reported Smith turned down working on the film.

Previously, director Roland Emmerich, who will be returning to direct the sequel, they simply couldn't afford to cast Smith in the film because "he's too expensive."

"Will Smith can not come back because he's too expensive, but he'd also be too much of a marquee name," Emmerich told The New York Daily News in 2013. "It would be too much."

Smith received a $20 million payday for 2001's boxer movie "Ali."

So how is the movie dealing with Smith's absence? 

Easy, they're killing him off. 

Along with the trailer, Fox launched a website called The War of 1996 showing a timeline of events since the film in 1996. 

Entertainment Weekly spotted a nugget on the timeline showing that Smith's character, Colonel Steven Hiller, was conveniently killed April 27, 2007 while testing an alien hybrid ship.

will smith killed independence day 2

Here's the entire blurb:

"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."

It looks like Smith doesn't have the chance to even come back in any more potential sequels.

Though Smith won't be back, a majority of actors from the original 1996 movie will reprise their roles including Jeff Goldblum, Vivica A. Fox, and Bill Pullman.

independence day jeff goldblum

Maybe the movie doesn't need him. They signed on "The Hunger Games" star Liam Hemsworth as one of the film's leads.

The first film became the highest-grossing movie of 1996. It made over $817 million worldwide.

"Independence Day: Resurgence" will be in theaters June 24, 2016.

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