Even though Independence Day: Resurgence raked in nearly $390 million at the worldwide box office, it was still quite the disappointment for 20th Century Fox. The film didn’t land well with critics either, earning just a 29% on Rotten Tomatoes, not to mention a 30% from audiences. They weren’t the only ones disappointed, because director Roland Emmerich has found himself regretting ever making the movie.
Speaking with Yahoo while promoting the release of the World War II epic Midway this weekend, Emmerich lamented what Independence Day: Resurgence turned out to be, and it’s a direct result of Will Smith deciding not to make the movie. The director explained:
“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.”
It was common knowledge that there were two possible paths for Independence Day: Resurgence to take. One would have involved the return of Will Smith, something fans of the first movie hoped would happen. And the other was without him, and unfortunately, that’s the movie we ended up getting. It just didn’t have the same spirit of the first movie, and Emmerich knew that in the middle of production. Despite knowing they might not have Will Smith on board, there was no solidified back-up plan. Emmerich recalled:
“I should have stopped making the movie because we had a much better script, then I had to, really fast, cobble another script together. I should have just said no because all of a sudden I was making something I criticized myself: a sequel.”
Independence Day: Resurgence definitely feels like a mess of an ensemble movie without any real star to lead it. Though Jessie T. Usher stepped up to take the role of Will Smith’s son, the return of surviving original characters played by Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Brent Spiner, Judd Hirsch and Vivica A. Fox just didn’t pack the same punch without Will Smith joining them.
Honestly, it’s a shame Resurgence disappointed at the box office and critically, because the ending promises such an insane possibility for future films. The door is even open for Will Smith to come back, despite being presumed dead. So maybe after some time passes and more nostalgia sets in, we’ll return to the world of Independence Day.
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