How the Writers of Independence Day 2 Got Around Will Smith Not Being in the Movie

Steve Hiller in happier Independence days. Photo: Twentieth Century Fox

In the real world, Will Smith will not appear in Independence Day: Resurgence because he was too expensive for Roland Emmerich. But you can't just write that in a script, so the filmmakers had to come up with an in-universe explanation for Smith's absence, which they revealed on the film's tie-in site, [Spoilers, if that's what you want to call them, will follow.] As it turns out, the reason Smith's Captain Steven Hiller will not appear in the film is because ... he's dead! According to the site, Hiller died on April 27, 2007, when the new alien-hybrid aircraft he was flying suffered an "unknown malfunction" and crashed. That's a cold write-around, Independence Day writers. Very cold. (Unless, of course, this is all a cover to make a potential Will Smith cameo in the film that much more surprising — which would be cold and calculating in a different way!)