Will Smith not being in Independence Day: Resurgence appears to be all Gary Whitta’s fault, as After Earth is why he didn’t want to do the sequel.
“Then, as Emmerich puts it, After Earth happened. And all of a sudden, Will Smith wasnâ€™t eager to rush into a science-fiction story structured around a father-son duo on an adventure. Emmerich told us:
In the very beginning, I wanted to work with him and he was excited to be in it but then after a while he was tired of sequels, and he did another science fiction film, which was his father-son story, so he opted out.””
Originally Will Smith’s character had a big part in Independence Day: Resurgence along with his son who’s now all grown up. The live stream didn’t address what happened to his character, so it’s possible that in the twenty years between movies he was killed off at some point. We’ll have to wait until next June to find out.