Skip to main content

Jeff Goldblum returns, but Will Smith is absent from Independence Day: Resurgence trailer

20 years ago, Jeff Goldblum and Will Smith saved our collective behinds from an alien invasion in the blockbuster film Independence Day. It was the highest grossing film of 1996 and still remains one of the all-time hits. On Sunday, 20th Century Fox dropped the first trailer for the sequel, Independence Day: Resurgence, with Roland Emmerich returning to direct. Much of the original cast reprise their roles, including Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Judd Hirsch, Vivica A. Fox and … Brent Spiner? Didn’t his wild-haired scientist character die?

Randy Quaid, who played an unstable pilot that sacrificed himself in a kamikaze-style attack against the alien mothership, will not be returning. Given Quaid’s personal problems, we’re not sure he’d come back even if they did want to resurrect him.

New to the franchise are veteran actors William Fichtner, who signs on as a top general, and Sela Ward, who plays the U.S. President. Liam Hemsworth takes to the unfriendly skies as a fighter pilot.

If you watched the trailer, you likely noticed the glaring omission of Will Smith, whose role as USMC Captain Steven Hiller helped launch his career.  According to Cinema Blend, plans were in place for Smith to return and fight alongside his on-screen son. However, after filming the sci-fi flop After Earth with real-life son Jaden, the man in black dropped out.

Spoiler alert: the film’s official site reveals the fate of Hiller, who was likely immediately promoted to Colonel after saving the world: “While test piloting the the Earth Space Defense’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.” Hiller is survived in the film by his son Dylan, played by Jessie Usher, while Fox returns as his wife, Jasmine.

The trailer depicts a somewhat darker mood than the first. The interwoven sound clips of President Thomas J. Whitmore’s stirring speech from the original film set a moving pace, though the words are ominously cut off at the end.

Will Smith's Captain Hiller died before Independence Day: Resurgence
Fox
Fox

From the trailer’s description: “Using recovered alien technology, the nations of Earth have collaborated on an immense defense program to protect the planet. But nothing can prepare us for the aliens’ advanced and unprecedented force.” Indeed, hybrid earth-alien ships can be seen in the clip as well as on the website. Additionally, an official photo shows David Levinson (Goldblum) standing in front of a screen displaying images of what look like a mobile phone and drone. Perhaps we adapted alien tech for our everyday devices in between the invasions as well.

Independence Day: Resurgence opens on June 24, 2016.

Albert Khoury
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Al started his career at a downtown Manhattan publisher, and has since worked with digital and print publications. He's…
Art the Clown is a Christmas murderer in Terrifier 3’s new teaser trailer
A bloody clown dressed like Santa Claus stands in the doorframe.

It's beginning to look a lot like a bloody Christmas in the first teaser trailer for Terrifier 3, the third installment in Damien Leone's slasher franchise.

In the 60-second clip, Art the Clown (David Howard Thornton) unleashes Christmas Eve havoc on the residents of Miles County. Backed by an eerie version of Silent Night, Art returns to his murderous ways, but this time, he's sporting a blood-soaked Santa suit. One of his kills in the trailer occurs in a shower scene that mirrors Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho.

Read more
Everything coming to Max (formerly HBO Max) in August 2024
everything coming to max in august 2024 industry season 3

Industry Season 3 | Official Trailer | HBO

How do you top season 2 of House of the Dragon?  Turns out, you don't, at least according to HBO and Max, which just released their lackluster August 2024 programming schedule. There's not a lot of compelling new content to watch this month unless you're a big fan of Maine Cabin Masters.

Read more
The best Netflix original movies right now
Eddie Murphy as Axel Foley smiling while driving a car in Netflix's Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F.

If you're looking for new Netflix original movies in July, there are a handful. But even fewer that can truly be called among the best of Netflix's originals. That's not too surprising. Even during Netflix's peak, when new original movies premiered almost every week, there were more bad films than good ones. It was a classic quantity over quality situation.

Netflix hasn't entirely fixed that disparity in 2024, but there are two new originals worth checking out this month. The first is the action comedy Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F, and the second is the new rom-com Find Me Falling. You can catch these films and more in our roundup of the best Netflix original movies right now.

Read more