Why we’ll never get to see Independence Day 3

While boasting an ensemble cast of familiar faces like Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman, the breakout star of Independence Day was Will Smith, who portrayed Capt. Steven Hiller. (He delivered the movie’s most famous line, “Welcome to Earth,” right after punching an extraterrestrial invader.) The film established Smith, up to that point best known for his recording career and TV’s The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, as a bona fide movie star. For years, Smith virtually owned Independence Day weekend at the box office, starring in a string of early July blockbusters that included Men in Black, Bad Boys II, and Hancock.

By the time Independence Day: Resurgence began production nearly 20 years after the release of its predecessor, Smith was far too busy to return to the franchise that made him a screen idol. “It was one of those things — I had a couple of films lined up, I had Concussion and Suicide Squad, and so it was a decision, timing-wise, between Independence Day and Suicide…

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