ByEleanor Tremeer, writer at
MP staff. I talk about Star Wars a lot. Sometimes I'm paid for it. More ramblings on Twitter @ExtraTremeerial
Eleanor Tremeer

The rebootish sequel of the iconic Independence Day has had its share of controversy already, and it's not even out yet! Despite being a major factor in the original film's success, fans were sad to learn that Will Smith will not return for Independence Day 2: Resurgence. But why did the mega star decide to turn down this flick?

Going Independent

The fact that Will Smith was not returning for Independence Day 2 floated around the internet for a few months before the reason was revealed. This was plenty of time for rumours to spring up (though let's face it, rumours need seconds to develop, not months), and before long people were sure that Smith's absence from Resurgence was due to unreasonable paycheque demands. But this was later debunked by director Roland Emmerich.

"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."

Right, because M Night Shyamalan's After Earth was SUCH a smash hit... But as disappointing as it is, Will Smith is totally within his rights to turn down Independence Day 2 and he's got a point: there really are a LOT of sequels these days.

Welcome to Earf'
Welcome to Earf'

Luckily for us, this wasn't the end of Resurgence, but Will Smith's departure very nearly doomed the film! Roland Emmerich described the process.

"We wrote a script, first for Will Smith, then Will Smith decided not to do it, and for a moment, I didn't want to do it at all. All my friends convinced me that 'Independence Day' is served better to do it exactly like the first one, as an ensemble one, so I sat down again with Dean (Devlin), and we wrote another script which Fox liked very much."

So not only did Will Smith's departure disappoint fans, he also caused the entire film to be rewritten. We can't really blame him for this though - maybe they should have checked with the actor before writing his character into the story?

Well, it's all done and dusted now. But this wasn't the only actor controversy that Independence 2 faced...

Recasting Scandal

Ok, so you all remember the President's daughter, right? You'd be forgiven if you didn't. Little Patricia Whitmore was barely there in Independence Day, but she did exist, and she's set to have a leading role in Resurgence... and a whole new face!

Recasting roles isn't unusual, especially when child stars don't pursue acting later in life. Except that really isn't the case for Mae Whitman, whose career has gone from strength to strength after Independence Day.


So what have you seen Mae Whitman in? Um, lots, but you probably didn't realise it was her. Whitman's most notable roles have been Ramona's ex girlfriend in Scott Pilgrim Vs The World, Katara in Avatar: The Last Airbender (the show, not Shyamalan's trainwreck of a film), and Egg, sorry, Ann in Arrested Development. Oh, and she also just starred as the lead in [The DUFF.](tag:1420931), which was pretty hilarious and proved Whitman's star potential.

And yet, she didn't even make it into the final picks to play Patricia Whitmore, which angered more than a few of her famous friends...

She's cute, she's funny, and she's pretty damn badass: all in all Mae Whitman is beyond qualified to reprise her role in Independence Day 2. And yet, she won't.

There's been no official comment about why Whitman's role was recast, unfortunately, so we're free to speculate on why the directors snubbed her (after Will Smith snubbed them). The role has been given to Maika Monroe, of It Follows fame, and Patricia will reportedly be the love interest of Liam Hemsworth's character. Let's hope her role as a love interest won't sideline the character too much, and Patricia will be just as influential and strong willed as her president father!

A rocky start...

With no trailer yet, and actor scandals, Independence Day 2 is shrouded in gossip and rumour. With any luck we'll get some footage or promo pics soon to hype up the film: it's got a decent sounding plot, and it'll probably turn out to be one of the major blockbusters of 2016. So will you go to see Independence Day 2? Let us know in the comments, or write your own post!


Were the directors right to recast Patricia?


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