We came so, so close to having an Independence Day sequel that starred Will Smith, but alas it wasn't meant to be. If you've seen the first trailer for Independence Day Resurgence, you know Bill Pullman and Jeff Goldblum have returned for the long-awaited sequel, but Will won't be helping them save "Earf" this time. And now we know what happened to his character.
A new promotional web site, warof1996.com, reveals Captain Steven Hiller's fate, and it's an unimpressive end for such an impressive character. The site is set up as a history lesson of everything that's happened in the war with the aliens between the first movie and now. And one of the biggest bullet points comes in 2007, when, it's revealed, Capt. Hiller died while testing out some new technology for the "Earth Space Defense" program.
"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."
Here's a screencap from the history bullet point.
The most tragic part? It all could have ended differently if Will Smith had just said yes to the movie. Early last year, when Fox was still in negotiations with Smith, Deadline reported that screenwriter James Vanderbilt wrote two versions of the movie — one for if Smith said, "yes," and one for "no."
"Vanderbilt has been working on two separate scripts," the report reads. "One has Smith as the centerpiece, and the other takes the battle to the aliens without his cocky hero fighter pilot Captain Steven Hiller."
Oh well. We'll always have Judd Hirsch.