We’ve known for some time that Will Smith was not going to be in the Independence Day sequel, Independence Day: Resurgence. He passed on participating and went off to make Suicide Squad, leaving fans to wonder why his character doesn’t pop back up to save the day again when the invading aliens from the first film come back for round two.
Well, the answer to that comes in the form of some marketing for the film. When 20th Century Fox released the first trailer on Sunday for Independence Day: Resurgence, they also launched a viral website that charts the alternate history of the United States and the world following the War of `96, as the first film’s invasion became known. And well, for Smith’s war hero Steven Hiller, there was tragedy on April 27, 2007 –
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.
Vivica Fox is set to return as Jasmine Hiller with Jessie Usher joining the cast to play the role of Hiller’s son, Dylan.
There’s lots to explore on the site, from when world leaders decided to put differences behind them in the wake of the invasion to charting how the military began using the alien technology to bolster our planets’ defenses. Interestingly, it mentions that the ruins of Las Vegas remained untouched as a lasting monument to those who died in the invasion.
Independence Day: Resurgence invades theaters June 24, 2016.