It feels like every beloved action, comedy, or action-comedy franchise is getting rebooted with new series and sequels. Jurassic Park, Spider-Man, and, of course, Independence Day. In a way, it makes sense. As Will Smith has pointed out, we love nostalgia. But it turns out, that’s exactly why he stayed away.
In a Facebook Live chat, Smith said he specifically chose Suicide Squad over Independence Day: Resurgence because he didn’t want to go “backwards,” meaning returning to an old franchise instead of embarking on something new. This contradicts earlier statements from both Smith and director Roland Emmerich, who had said it was a timing issue. As a result, Smith’s character was killed off in between films, with his son taking up his mantle.