Top Stories

Will Smith Almost Wasn't Cast in 'Independence Day' For This Reason

Will Smith Almost Wasn't Cast in 'Independence Day' For This Reason

Will Smith is very well known for his leading role in Independence Day, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary today.

However, it was just recently revealed that the now 52-year-old actor almost wasn’t cast in the movie for an eye-opening reason.

Click inside to see what it was…

Director Roland Emmerich and producer-writer Dean Devlin spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about how the studio was hesitant in casting Will in the role of Captain Steve Hillar.

“Ethan Hawke was on our list too, but I thought at that time he was too young,” Roland remembered of the actors they had on their list. “[But] It was pretty clear it had to be Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum. That was the combo we thought.”

However, he revealed that “the studio said, ‘No, we don’t like Will Smith. He’s unproven. He doesn’t work in international [markets].’”

Dean added, “They said, ‘You cast a Black guy in this part, you’re going to kill foreign [box office].’ Our argument was, ‘Well, the movie is about space aliens. It’s going to do fine foreign.’ It was a big war, and Roland really stood up for [Smith] — and we ultimately won that war.”

While the duo persisted in having Will and Jeff as the leads, the studio was still pushing back.

“It was pretty shortly before the shoot and we still hadn’t locked in Will and Jeff,” Roland said. “I put my foot down. ‘Universal people are calling every day, so give me these two actors or I move over there.’ I don’t think it would have been a possibility [to actually move studios], but it was a great threat.”

This was the movie’s original title…

Just Jared on Facebook
will smith studio pushback indep day 01
will smith studio pushback indep day 02
will smith studio pushback indep day 03
will smith studio pushback indep day 04
will smith studio pushback indep day 05

Photos: Getty
Posted to: Will Smith

JJ Links Around The Web

Photo of Private: JJ Links Around The Web
Getty Images
  • Miranda Cosgrove reveals the original idea for the iCarly reboot - Just Jared Jr
  • Elizabeth Gillies explains why she wasn't at Ariana Grande's wedding - Just Jared Jr
  • Watch the new Dune trailer! - Just Jared Jr
  • This Disney star welcomed baby No. 4 - Just Jared Jr