Unflinchingly candid as ever, Vivica A. Fox recently made her views clear about why the 2016 sequel to the iconic “Independence Day” fell short of the first: it lacked the irresistible charisma of Will Smith. While discussing her true-crime series “The Interrogation Room” with A.V. Club, Fox dived into the perceived failings of “Independence Day: Resurgence.”

Related: Will Smith Movies List: Top 10 Best Ranked

“I just didn’t feel like it was good and lived up to the first one,” she expressed, voicing her belief that the absence of Smith, who portrayed her on-screen husband and ace pilot Steven Hiller in the original movie, heavily impacted the sequel’s performance and audience reception. Unfortunately, negotiations for Smith to return for the sequel and a third film broke down due to salary disputes.

Roland Emmerich returned as the director for the sequel, which he co-wrote with Dean Devlin. The narrative jumped forward two decades after the first film, by which time Smith’s character, Steven Hiller, had met his end. Both returning and new characters were tasked with safeguarding Earth from a new menace. Fox reprised her role as Jasmine Dubrow-Hiller, alongside original cast members like Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman. The sequel also welcomed franchise newcomers Liam Hemsworth and Sela Ward.

Regardless of the star-studded cast, the sequel failed to match the box office triumph of the original movie, grossing $389.7 million worldwide against a production budget of $165 million, a far cry from the first film’s stellar $817.4 million.

Fox pointed out…

“We had most of the original cast on, but I think the one true link that was missing to the success of ‘Independence Day 2’ was that… Will Smith wasn’t there. I’m going to keep it real. I was at the premiere and I was like, let’s see how the fans are going to feel about this, and sure enough, on Twitter, they blew me up.”

At present, “Independence Day: Resurgence” holds a modest 29% critics score and a 30% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, compared to the 1996 original’s 68% and 75% scores, respectively.

Interestingly, in a 2021 interview, Independence Day writer-producer Dean Devlin disclosed that 20th Century Fox initially hesitated to cast Smith for the lead role. However, the “space aliens” concept of the movie eventually helped win the argument for Smith’s inclusion, effectively launching his illustrious career in Hollywood and securing his domination of the Fourth of July weekend box office throughout the 1990s.

Despite Smith’s initial enthusiasm for the original sequel script, the actor eventually declined to reprise the role of Hiller due to a reported pay discrepancy. According to Fox, this resulted in the character being written off, a move that greatly influenced the sequel’s performance.

Buddy TV

With a collective experience in film analysis and entertainment journalism, our team, comprised of avid movie buffs, has always been on the frontline of exploring cinematic universes, from the enchanting realms of Disney to the action-packed scenes of the MCU.

Our passion has led us to exclusive interviews with notable figures, early access, and active participation in the industry.

Recognized by the press, we dive deep into various genres, including drama, cartoons, comedy, and foreign films, always eager to bring fresh insights to our readers.

Connect with us or explore our journey to learn more about our adventures in unraveling the magic of the big screen.