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Will Smith’s Independence Day character confirmed to be dead

on December 13, 2015, 6:36pm

Earlier today 20th Century Fox released the first trailer for Independence Day: Resurgence. Noticeably absent was Captain Steven Hiller, the character portrayed by Will Smith in the original film. Smith reportedly passed on the opportunity to reprise the role due to lack of interest in doing sequels. Additionally, following the box office flop that was After Earth, Smith didn’t want to do another father-son sci-fi movie.

How then does Independence Day: Resurgence intend to explain the absence of such a pivotal character? Along with the trailer comes a website featuring a detailed timeline of the events since the initial war of 1996. As the story goes, Hiller, who had since been promoted to Colonel, died in April 2007 while test piloting the first alien hybrid fighter.

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Based on the trailer, Hiller’s son Dylan (portrayed by Jessie Usher) follows in his father’s footsteps as an air force pilot.