The trailer for Independence Day: Resurgence, the sequel to the 1996 action staple that grossed $811 million worldwide, debuted to near thunderous applause yesterday (December 13). Outside of the outer space fights and returning cast (Jeff Goldblum!), most people are wondering what happened to Will Smith’s Col. Steve Hiller.
The film’s promotional site has an interactive timeline you can surf through, and if you go to 2007, you’ll see a headline that reads “World Mourns Col Hiller” with this message: “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 his son Dylan.”
Smith announced earlier this year that he wouldn’t be returning for the sequel to the movie that effectively launched his career as the most bankable box office star in the world. He recently confirmed that he’ll be heading out on a world tour with Jazzy Jeff in 2016 instead, so we doubt he’s feeling the financial pressure.
Either way, Independence Day: Resurgence opens in theaters June 24, 2016.