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SYFY WIRE Suicide Squad

Roland Emmerich regrets making Independence Day: Resurgence without Will Smith

By Christian Long
Independence Day Resurgence

In an era where sequels, continuations, and reboots can happen years or decades after the original, it's always a bit of a risk when it comes to how much of the original fanbase will stick around.

Such was the case with 2016's Independence Day: Resurgence, a big-budget, high-concept sci-fi sequel that came exactly 20 years after the original alien invasion flick. Some of the original stars like Bill Pullman and Brent Spiner reprised their roles, and Will Smith was initially going to join them.

However, Smith ultimately dropped out, which may have been the root of the film's problems, director Roland Emmerich told Yahoo! 

"I just wanted to make a movie exactly like the first, but then in the middle of production Will opted out because he wanted to do Suicide Squad," said Emmerich. "I should have stopped making the movie because we had a much better script, then I had to really fast, cobble another script together."

The director, who helmed both Independence Day and its sequel, admitted once the Gemini Man star left, the re-writes never quite came together. This meant that Smith's character, pilot Steven Hiller, ended up getting killed off-screen — a strange epilogue considering the first film helped make him a superstar.

"I should have just said 'no,' because all of a sudden I was making something I criticized myself: a sequel," added Emmerich of the whole ordeal. 

Interestingly, while Smith opted for Suicide Squad over Independence Day: Resurgence, he won't be returning as Deadshot for director James Gunn's sequel/soft reboot. Although instead of killing his character off-screen, they're allegedly keeping the option open for his return to the DCEU at some point in the future.